Turkey tightens security at Iran border to stop Afghan refugees

Ankara: Turkey has tightened security its borders with Iran in an attempt to stop the refugees’ influx from Afghanistan, media reports said on Sunday.

Ankara strengthed security measures on its border with Iran to stop illegal crossings, mainly from Afghans fleeing the Taliban that has taken over key cities and provinces, Afghanistan’s Arian News said.

 On Saturday, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar visited the 295-kilometer long border with Iran where a modular concrete wall is being built, Arian News added.

As the Taliban escalated violence in Afghanistan, hundreds of Afghans have entered Turkey in recent days. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency on Saturday said that it’s alarmed by the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

As widespread fighting intensifies, the United Nations in Afghanistan continues to call for a permanent ceasefire and a negotiated settlement in the interests of the Afghan people, UNHCR said in a statement.

 The refugee agency is worried about the impact of the conflict on women and girls. Some 80 percent of nearly a quarter of a million Afghans forced to flee since the end of May are women and children.

Nearly 4,00,000 were forced from their homes since the beginning of the year, joining 2.9 million Afghans already internally displaced across the country at the end of 2020, the UNHCR added.

The overwhelming majority of Afghans forced to flee remain within the country, as close to their homes as fighting will allow. Since the beginning of this year, nearly 1,20,000 Afghans have fled from rural areas and provincial towns to Kabul province.