TITLE=AFGHAN REFUGEES (L-O)
INTRO: International aid agencies in Afghanistan's
capital, Kabul, say they are assessing the current
situation involving thousands of people evacuated from
their homes by Taleban forces. As Correspondent Scott
Anger reports, many have arrived in the capital
seeking shelter and assistance.
TEXT: About two-thousand people, mostly women and
children, have taken refuge in the bombed out remains
of the Russian Embassy in Kabul. They have reportedly
moved from the eastern city of Jalalabad, where a
government spokesman says several children have died
from lack of food and water.
The United Nations and the Red Cross say they are
monitoring the refugees movements and are urging them
to use existing facilities in an effort to avoid
creating camps in the capital. Many have reportedly
taken shelter with relatives in Kabul.
A spokesman for an international aid agency says
relief organizations in Kabul can cope with the
existing situation, but there are health and
sanitation issues which need to be addressed.
After capturing the Shomoli Plain during a massive
offensive against opposition fighters, the Taleban
forced people to leave their homes. Some fled north
through the Panjsher Valley, while others were
transported by the Taleban, through Kabul to
The Taleban say they moved families out of the area to
prevent opposition forces from using civilians as
Although, the people had been moved for -- what the
Taleban say -- is their well-being, refugees arriving
in Kabul last week say they did not want to leave
Families waited for hours on the outskirts of the
capital, hoping to recognize relatives and friends
passing through the city in Taleban-provided vehicles.
For others with animals, it was a full-day's walk from
villages about 40-kilometers north of Kabul.
Opposition forces led by Commander Ahmad Shah Masood
have re-captured most of the region. They accused the
Taleban of un-fairly targeting ethnic groups in its
evacuation of the area. The Taleban have denied the
Meanwhile, sporadic fighting has been reported as
Afghanistan's two warring factions struggle to define
a new battlefront after a successful counter-offensive
by opposition fighters one-week ago. (SIGNED)
10-Aug-1999 09:14 AM EDT (10-Aug-1999 1314 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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