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Uzbekistan Not Keen To Admit Afghan Refugees Fleeing Taliban

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FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in Kunduz city, northern Afghanistan. As the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in a swift power grab, thousands of Afghans have been looking for ways to escape what they see as a return of a ruthless fundamentalist rule. But the neighboring Uzbekistan doesn't appear eager to help the stranded nation. (AP Photo/Abdullah Sahil, File)

(AP) — As the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans looked for ways to escape what they see as a return of a ruthless fundamentalist rule. A 30-year-old man who operated a cross-border oil company still had a business visa that allowed him to enter neighboring Uzbekistan. But he was one of the lucky few to find refuge in the ex-Soviet republic. Uzbekistan appears wary about a flood of Afghan refugees and locals say visas are nearly impossible to get now. Experts note that Uzbek authorities have long maintained a tightly closed border with Afghanistan, fearing an influx of extremists.

 

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