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Stranded Afghans in Pak take shelter in mosques, shops

Islamabad, May 4 (IANS) Scores of stranded Afghans in Pakistan have taken temporary shelter in different mosques, shops and even abandoned railway tunnels in near the countries' border for the last four days, a media report said on Monday.

Pakistani authorities allowed 3,915 Afghan nationals to go back to their country via Torkham border on April 28 as a gesture of goodwill, reports Dawn news.

Authorities, however, had not made any formal announcement about the opening of Torkham border for return of Afghans on that day.

Hearing about the unannounced return of their countrymen, hundreds of more Afghans flocked to the border crossing with the hope of going back to their country.

Pakistani authorities, however, closed the border and the Afghans, who had come to Torkhum, got stranded near the border.

The desperate Afghans, hundreds in number, took temporary shelter in two mosques at Landi Kotal Bazaar and abandoned railway tunnels on railway track leading to the border point, said the Dawn news report.

Taking mercy on the desperate Afghans, some local traders and shopkeepers also offered them to stay at their empty shops and residential flats at the bazaar while some shifted to homes of their local friends.

–IANS

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