Wednesday, 7 August 2002

The return to Afghanistan

The return to Afghanistan: For the forgotten Afghans, the UN offers a fresh hell
By Robert Fisk

In Afghanistan, it is possible to go from hell to hell. The first circle of hell is the Waiting Area, the faeces-encrusted dustbowl in which 60,000 Afghans rot along their frontier with Pakistan at Chaman – a bone-dry, sand-blasted place of patched bedouin tents, skinny camels, infested blankets and skin disease. There are laughing children with terrible facial sores, old women of 30, white-bearded, dark-turbaned men who from huts of dry twigs look with suspicion and astonishment at Westerners.

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