Afghan refugees spotted fleeing to border to escape deadly Taliban forces as brutal terror group sweeps through country
AFGHAN refugees are fleeing to borders to escape the advancing deadly Taliban forces as the brutal terror group sweeps through the country.
There's a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the escalating conflict brings increased human suffering and civilian displacement, warn experts.
"Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees" are trying to leave their country, according to photo-journalist Rusen Taqwa.
He tweeted that "refugee convoys that set out from their countries [have begun] to enter Turkey in groups via Iran".
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warned that terrified families are being "forced to flee their homes in recent weeks citing the worsening security situation" after America's hasty retreat from Afghanistan.
"The resilience of the Afghan people has been pushed to the limit by prolonged conflict, high levels of displacement, the impact of Covid-19, recurrent natural disasters, including drought, and deepening poverty," it added.
One woman said: “My husband died fighting the Taliban in Ghazni. There are fierce battles there now.
"We used the mountain road [to Iran] and got stopped by Turkish soldiers at the border, but they let us go.
"We have walked for days… my children are getting sick. It’s a very difficult situation," reported The Guardian.
TERROR THREAT SPIKES
With the US and NATO pulling out of the area, the terrorist threat has "worsened", warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a conference of world powers.
Taliban forces have surged in recent weeks, capturing dozens of districts and key border regions from the faltering Afghan security forces and military, as the US and NATO complete their withdrawal.
"There are real risks of instability spilling into neighbouring countries," Lavrov added.
Radio Free Europe said in a report that "Turkey has become a critical refugee hotspot for Afghans alongside its still-expanding Syrian and Iraqi refugee population.
"Its key location straddling East and West has made it a stopover for refugees on their journey to start a new life in Europe.
"According to refugee officials, an estimated nearly 200,000 Afghan refugees are living in Turkey.
"A mass exodus is taking place as Afghans seek a new home away from insecurity and threats from the Taliban."
Nisar Ahmad, an Afghan refugee living in Zeytinburnu on the European side of Istanbul, said: “I came to Turkey to save my life.
“I was working with American troops in Afghanistan."
It’s a very difficult situation.
Afghans are the largest group of asylum seekers in Turkey.
But Iran and Pakistan host nearly 90 per cent of displaced Afghans – more than two million registered Afghan refugees in total.
Both countries have granted access to territory and protection to Afghan refugees, along with health and educational services through national systems.
Turkey, meanwhile, is being chosen as a "kind of pitstop", for refugees fleeing to permanent safety in Europe, said Ahmad.
Single Afghan men who are menial workers make up the majority of those fleeing to Turkey as a temporary home.
Ahmad explained: “Most refugees coming to Turkey don't intend to stay here. Everyone wants to go to Europe."
A failure to reach a peace agreement in Afghanistan and stem the current violence will lead to further displacement within the country, as well as to neighbouring countries and beyond, said the UN.
But for those families with no ability to easily flee to safety, Afghan dads fear Taliban thugs will forcefully take away their daughters and make them work as slaves.
Terrified women dreading their future are fleeing the war-torn country as Islamic militants fight to gain full control – having already seized 85 per cent of Afghanistan.
Their fears have been revealed as a Pulitzer-prize winning Reuters photojournalist has been killed in Kandahar while reporting on the conflict in Afghanistan.
Danish Siddiqui was killed by Taliban gunfire while reporting on efforts by the Afghan Special Forces to retake the main market area of Spin Boldok, near the border with Pakistan.
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