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DATE=8/10/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=AFGHAN REFUGEES (L-O) NUMBER=2-252641 BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=KABUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 Jalalabad. The Taleban say they moved families out of the area to prevent opposition forces from using civilians as human shields. 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 their homes. 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 charge. 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) NEB/SA/RAE 10-Aug-1999 09:14 AM EDT (10-Aug-1999 1314 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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