Taliban Arrest Hundreds of Refugees
AP, August 16, 1999
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The ruling Taliban militia arrested hundreds of people in the capital, saying those detained were intruders from the northern-based opposition who had slipped into the city disguised as refugees, witnesses said Monday.
Witnesses said that the several hundred men arrested Sunday and Monday were mostly ethnic Tajiks who had been displaced from Shomali Valley in recent fighting.
A Taliban police official, however, said only 60 people had been arrested, and that they had come to cause trouble.
The Taliban have forcibly displaced thousands of people from the Shomali Valley, about 25 miles north of Kabul, saying they were trying to prevent casualties among the valley's locals. But the United Nations said Sunday that the Taliban had burned houses and crops to force people from homes, and had told them to walk to Kabul.
The refugees pouring into the city, though, have found little government help or relief for their fatigue, exposure and dehydration, aid workers have said.
Photos of forced displacement of people by Taliban
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