Afghan exodous to cross 1 million

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Afghan exodous to cross 1 million

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has begun planning for an influx of more than one million refugees from Afghanistan as terrified citizens flee in fear of a massive US attack, aid sources said on Friday.

Contingency plans, which have not been made public, envisage the establishment of camps between the southwestern city of Quetta and the border with the ability to house 500,000 new arrivals, the sources said.

Authorities in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) confirmed on Thursday they had finalised plans to reopen 80 former refugee settlements with the capacity for 800,000 people. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that at least 15,000 Afghans have crossed into Pakistan in the last week, despite Islamabadís attempts to close its long and porous border and some forced repatriation.

The refugee agency has made provisions for that total reaching 100,000 in the coming days.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=997246730

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 21, 2001


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