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Iran/Afghanistan: returns gather pace

Briefing notes

Iran/Afghanistan: returns gather pace

14 April 2000

The return of Afghan refugees from Iran and Pakistan continues to gather pace. 1,350 Afghans repatriated Thursday, 13 April from both Iran and Pakistan.

840 crossed at the Islam-qala border post to Herat while 510 repatriated from the Akora Khattak camp in Peshawar to the Khak-e-Jabbar district in Kabul province. A convoy of 29 trucks entered Afghanistan at the Torkheim border post and was escorted to its final destination by UNHCR staff from Kabul. 1,650 Afghan refugees have returned home from Iran since 9 April. 4,000 have repatriated from Pakistan to Afghanistan since January.

UNHCR will resume its operations in Kandahar next week following a U.N. decision to return there. U.N. staff was withdrawn on 28 March after armed Taliban entered several U.N. premises in Kandahar over the course of a three-day period. The UNHCR Kandahar head of office will return on Monday, 17 April.