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New Refugees Heading Toward Northern Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the refugee problem is growing inside the country as well as in surrounding areas. In northern Afghanistan people are fleeing their homes and heading for already overcroweded refugees camps.

At the Qumkishlak refugee camp, new arrivals join the refugees who have been there for more than a year, since the Taleban conquered most of the north last September.

A group of families from the city of Kunduz, around 150 kilometers away, left their homes after U.S. air strikes were carried out in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday. But they say the were fleeing the Taleban, who are on a conscription drive, forcing men to join their army.

These men say they did not want to fight for the Taleban. The group of about 50 people left their homes on foot and arrived in Qumkishlak camp Friday.

One family suffered a tragedy along the way. Their youngest child, a small girl, did not survive the journey. She died, her mother said, from diarrhea and a cold.

The French aid agency, ACTED, works with the people at the Qumkishlak camp and in Taleban controlled areas of Afghanistan as well. Every day for the past week, ACTED has been delivering wheat, oil and sugar here, its first food aid in three months.

Some U.N. food aid drops are reported to have reached the camp Saturday as well.