2 Afghan kids killed as Azakhel camp demolished
KABUL (Pajhwok): Two children from Afghan refugee families died on Thursday after Pakistani police using bulldozers and evacuators started demolishing their camp in the Azakhel area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“Once again the Pakistani forces have started demolishing homes and shops of Afghan families in the Azakhel camp using bulldozers and evacuators,” said Sawabuddin Makhkakh, head of the Dubandiwal Society.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the operation began around 2pm on Thursday. He said 50 homes were demolished and the families left in the open under a under a scorching sun.
A resident of the camp, Sardar Mohammad, told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone that the Pakistani forces entered the camp around 8am and started demolishing shops first. He was talking to Pajhwok around 4pm on Thursday.
“Before noon, the Pakistani forces demolished all shops and then starting demolishing homes in the afternoon,” Mohammad said.
He said 50 to 60 security personnel took part in the operation in order to deal with any resistance from the camp dwellers.
“The security forces are demolishing homes without noticing if anyone is inside. Two children aged six and five years old were killed when the wall of their home fell on them.”
The authorities in Pakistan had given the camp dwellers three days to vacate the areas or face eviction. Sardar Mohammad said they possessed refugee documents, but still their houses were demolished.
Attempts were made to seek comments from the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, but in vain. An official at the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul said he had no immediate answer and would respond later.
Thousands of Afghan families became unwanted in Pakistan after a Taliban massacre at a Peshawar school. More than 65,000 Afghans have returned since the start of the year after coming under intense scrutiny following the December massacre.
Hundreds of thousands of people fled Afghanistan during the last three decades of war, with a majority of them taking refuge in neighbouring Pakistan.
There are an estimated three million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan either officially or unofficially, most of whom left their country to escape conflict in the 1980s and 1990s.
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