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Number of Afghanistan refugees doubles in 2011

Facing internal conflict, the number of Afghans fleeing their homes in the war-torn country has more than doubled to over 91,000 compared to last year, according to an advocacy group for displaced persons.



Washington: Facing internal conflict, the
number of Afghans fleeing their homes in the war-torn country
has more than doubled to over 91,000 compared to last year,
according to an advocacy group for displaced persons.

"In the first five months of 2011, we have more than
91,000 people fleeing their homes. And this is in comparison
to last year at the same time period when there was 42,000,"
Refugees International advocate Lynn Yoshikawa said.

"They are living in cramped corridors ... sharing
homes, living outside in tents. They have a lot of
difficulties with breathing conditions, very limited access to
medical facilities to address the problems. A lot of it is
chronic," Yoshikawa was quoted as saying by CNN.

In describing the makeshift camps, Refugees
International representatives say some were situated along
major roads within Afghanistan`s capital of Kabul, thrown
together with discarded objects such as old cars, plastic
tarps and torn sheets.

The humanitarian group warns that Afghans continue to
be driven from their homes by coalition air strikes and
special forces raids.

"There is still a lot of displacement happening and
it`s not being properly addressed," said Yoshikawa.

Also, questions remain about the extent of corruption
within Afghanistan`s security forces, including local police,
who Refugees International says are now also driving Afghans
from their homes.

"We talked to displaced people who said the Afghan
local police, which are supported by U.S. military... are
extorting money from people, demanding taxes, using their
power to abuse civilians. They`ve also been implicated in
allegations of murder and torture in these communities,"
Yoshikawa said.

PTI

From Zee News

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