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Advocacy Group Reports Afghan Refugee Deaths - 2001-12-07


An international advocacy group for migrants says 177 people - most of them children - have died from hunger and cold over the past four weeks in an Afghan refugee camp near Kunduz in northern Afghanistan.

The International Organization for Migration (I-O-M) says the 28-hundred families taking refuge at the Baghe Sherkat camp received relief supplies until mid-October. That's when Taleban forces took over the migration agency's offices and stopped deliveries of humanitarian assistance to the camp. The group says that aside from a brief period from November sixth through the 11th, no food, blankets or winter clothes have reached Baghe Sherkat because of Taleban interference.

The I-O-M says its staff was finally able to reenter the refugee camp on Thursday, for the first time since November 11th.

The migrants' group says its own convoy, carrying over 15-thousand pieces of winter clothing, arrived at Kunduz today (Friday), and that I-O-M shipments of wheat and other food are on their way to Baghe Sherkat.

In October, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced that another 100-thousand Afghan children risk death from cold and hunger this winter, in addition to the 300-thousand Afghan children who die each year from other causes.

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