Dangerous Winter Looms Ahead for Afghans Displaced by Taliban

Hundreds of thousands of Afghans that have been forced to flee their homes by the Taliban militia’s reign of terror face a long cold winter that UN officials predict could be “as much a killer as the actual fighting.”

In the Panjshir Valley, one of the few places in Afghanistan that the Taliban militia does not yet control, an estimated 65,000 displaced Afghans currently seek refuge. But they are not safe there. This summer, Taliban forces sent 6,000 soldiers to capture the towns and villages not under Taliban control. Opposition forces managed to turn back the Taliban, but not before much of the land was destroyed, and many Afghans were killed.

Now after being driven from their homes, watching their relatives be slaughtered and their houses burned, Afghan refugees are preparing for a deadly winter. Twenty-one years of war have left most roads difficult to travel; winter snows threaten to make them impassable. The UN is currently soliciting $3.3 million in donations to help get aid to displaced persons and Afghans in areas devastated by Taliban soldiers.


New York Times and NNI - October 18, 1999

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