Refugee riots break out in Pakistan
Apr 02,2007 00:00
PESHAWAR - An eruption of riots after an Afghan refugee was killed in Pakistan prompted United Nations officials to stop the refugee repatriation program indefinitely.
Police fired tear gas shells and used batons to disperse the rock-throwing demonstrators who had blocked the Peshawar-Torkham road Saturday, the Dawn news agency reported. A U.N. refugees commissioner said the refugee verification center was closed as a precaution.
Witnesses said a refugee died when paramilitary forces fired on a crowd that was beating a U.N. worker for allegedly demanding a bribe. A senior police official denied that the Afghan had been killed by law enforcement personnel.
Thousands of Afghan families have converged on the center since the government set April 15 as the deadline for the unregistered Afghans. The U.N. agency said unregistered Afghans will not be paid a $100-per-head assistance fee after the grace period.
Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.