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Pakistan Extends Deadline for Closure of Refugee Camps


Pakistan has extended a deadline for the closure of refugee camps in tribal areas along the Afghan border, where more than 100-thousand refugees are still being processed for repatriation.

The government had intended to close the camps by August 31st, but a local Pakistani official told Reuters news agency he will continue to extend the deadline until each and every individual is repatriated to Afghanistan. Pakistan announced a plan to close the camps in the Kurram and Bajaur regions after expressing concern that al-Qaida-linked militants could use them as havens from which to launch attacks on both sides of the border.

On Monday, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United Nations refugee agency extended their agreement on repatriation of Afghans by nine months to December 2006.

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