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Afghanistan: Maintaining a vital presence

04-06-1997 News Release 97/21

The renewed fighting in several parts of northern and eastern Afghanistan over the last ten days or so has led to a sharp rise in humanitarian needs. The ICRC has provided assistance in evacuating some 600 war casualties to various hospitals in the country, some of which have also received considerable quantities of medical supplies.

In the northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif, delegates have managed to give medical aid to 30 wounded detainees in the central prison. As in Kabul, the ICRC is helping to transfer the wounded to hospital and is distributing the necessary supplies to medical facilities. Patients with no resources and no family are also provided with food. 

Under its mandate to afford protection to non-combatants, the ICRC is preparing to register some 700 detainees currently being held in prisons in Mazar-i-Sharif. To the west, in Herat, delegates are about to register 750 others captured by the Taliban during the recent fighting.