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UN: Over 38,000 People Displaced in Afghanistan this Year | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55369817

Afghan internal displaced refugee children eat food near their shelter at the outskirts of Kabul. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)

Kabul- A United Nations report has said that over 38,000 people have been displaced in Afghanistan since the start of 2017.

“We expect very high levels of conflict-induced displacement and already this year, over 38,000 people have been newly displaced,” said UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesman Jens Laerke.

Laerke said this is nearly one third of the Afghan population and 13 percent more than the number of UN beneficiaries in 2016.

He added that 57 percent of the displaced Afghans are children less than the age of 8.

In the southern province of Helmand, Afghan officials said on Tuesday that eight policemen were killed and more than 12 others injured in a suicide car bombing at their base.

The attack late Monday was in Gereshk district, just outside the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, which has been largely besieged by Taliban forces for more than a year.

Pakistan on Monday ordered the border with Afghanistan to be reopened “immediately”, a month after it was closed amid soaring tensions as Islamabad and Kabul accused one another of providing safe haven for militants.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the two main crossings on the long, porous border be reopened as a gesture of “goodwill”, a statement from his office said.

The crossings — Torkham at the famed Khyber Pass, and Chaman in Balochistan province — were closed last month after a wave of militant violence killed 130 people across Pakistan.

The attacks, most of which were claimed by ISIS or the Pakistani Taliban, dented optimism after the country appeared to be making strong gains in its decade-and-a-half long war on militancy.