Afghanistan says Iran deporting 5,000 Afghan refugees per day
26. April 2007, 14:14

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Iran is deporting around 5,000 refugees a day back to Afghanistan, which lacks the capacity to feed and accommodate them, an Afghan official said Thursday.

In the last three days, Iran has deported Afghan refugees living illegally in the Islamic republic through the Zaranj border-crossing in southwestern Nimroz province, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary.

Afghanistan lacks shelter, water and food to accommodate the influx, and Iranian authorities should "show a little patience on the refugee issue," Bashary said.

About 2 million Afghans live as refugees in Iran, having fled their homes during decades of ruinous conflict.

The decision to deport the refugees comes a week after Gen. Peter Pace, the top U.S. military commander, said U.S. forces recently intercepted Iranian-made mortars and other weaponry in Afghanistan. However, it is not clear if they were shipped directly from Iran.

Bashary said the two issues are not linked, and that their ministry has no proof of Iranian-made weapons showing up in Afghanistan.

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