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Spain accepts 294 more refugees from Afghanistan

IANS | August 11, 2022 02:41 PM

MADRID: Spain has taken in 294 more Afghans in need of protection nearly one year after the last US soldiers left the country and a hardline Taliban government took over.

A plane carrying the Afghans landed at the Torrejon de Ardoz air base near Madrid late Wednesday from the Pakistani capital Islamabad, the Spanish government said on Thursday.

The Afghans were received by Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, reports dpa news agency.

They are former local employees who had worked with the Spanish military, government and aid groups.

After Western troops left Afghanistan, they had fled to neighbouring Pakistan.

Relatives of the employees were also among those transported to Spain.

The refugees were taken to reception centre in Torrejon de Ardoz, the first step on their path to a new life in Spain.

Spain has now taken in 3, 900 people from Afghanistan, according to government figures.

According to the UNHCR, of the more than 6 million Afghans who were forcibly displaced from their homes by the end of 2021, 3.5 million were displaced within the country, while 2.6 million were hosted as refugees across 98 different countries, accounting for one of the largest protracted refugee situations in the world.

The vast majority of refugees from Afghanistan are living in Pakistan and Iran.

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