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Irish Officials to Meet Afghan Hunger Strikers


Irish officials have agreed to meet with representatives of about 40 Afghan asylum seekers on a hunger strike in Dublin's Saint Patrick's Cathedral after being denied permission to remain in Ireland.

Church and local authorities Tuesday said Justice Ministry officials will meet protest representatives to discuss their asylum requests.

At least five protesters suffering from dehydration have been hospitalized since the hunger strike began Sunday.

Many in the group began taking water after the Irish officials agreed to meet with them.

Officials say the group is frustrated over the rejection of their applications to remain in Ireland. They say their lives will be in danger if they are forced to return to Afghanistan.

Justice ministry officials have said all the asylum applications were handled in a comprehensive and fair manner.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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