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Afghanistan Faces Growing Humanitarian Crisis - 2001-09-20


International relief officials say the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is quickly deteriorating amid threats of U-S retaliatory attacks in the country.

U-N officials say up to six million Afghans are unable to feed themselves due to severe drought and the country's ongoing civil war.

The officials say the situation could get much worse with temperatures set to drop in the coming months and growing instability in the aftermath of last week's attacks in the United States.

Thousands of Afghans have fled major cities in recent days, streaming to the countryside and the borders with Pakistan and Iran. Those two countries are trying to seal off their borders to resist a massive influx of new Afghan refugees.

This comes as the United States has demanded Afghanistan's Taleban authorities hand over Osama bin Laden, the main suspect in last week's terror attacks on U-S soil.

Meanwhile, the Paris-based freedom of press watchdog group Reporters without Borders is complaining that Pakistani authorities have prevented journalists from working at the Afghani border, making it difficult to assess the refugee situation.

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