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Afghan refugees 'stream back'



GENEVA, Switzerland (CNN) -- The U.N. refugee agency says thousands of people have returned to various parts of Afghanistan over the past week, but it is too early to tell if the sharp rise will be sustained.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says that more than 7,600 people returned this week from Iran, a new weekly record for 2001.

Seven thousand Afghans returned home this week through the Chaman border crossing point from Pakistan's Balochistan province.

More than 3,500 Afghans reportedly crossed home to Kabul and Jalalabad through Pakistan's Khyber Pass, the UNHCR said.

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Many of the Afghans may be returning for Eid festivities and they are clearly not the poorest of refugees, the agency said.

With Ramadan ending soon, some Afghans may start repatriating, UNHCR said.

Despite this development, refugees are still trickling into Pakistan

The UNHCR staff at the Chaman border crossing count an average of more than 200 Afghans a day arriving at the U.N. refugee agency's Killi Faizo transit site at Chaman.

The relief group estimates that some 200,000 Afghans have arrived in Pakistan since September 11.



 
 
 
 



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