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By James Cogan:
US offensive displaces thousands of civilians in Afghanistan
3 June 2008
A major US offensive targeting alleged Taliban guerillas around the city of Garmser in the southern province of Helmand has displaced over 4,000 families, according to the provincial governor Gulab Mangal. He told UN relief agencies that most are living in squalid conditions on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Lashkargah, and had not received any food or non-food assistance.
Ahmad Shah, a 43-year-old peasant farmer, told the IRIN newsagency on the weekend: “Now my family and I live almost 10 kilometres from Lashkargah city. I have made a shelter from blanket pieces to live under, in an open area. I left my home with four children and my wife three weeks ago because of fighting. Now I need a tent, I need food. My children may die under the hot burning sun of Lashkargah.”
A representative of the Afghanistan Red Crescent Society, Asadullah Mayar, told IRIN: “I met families in the outskirts of Lashkargah city who had not had food in days, lying under the trees and in the sun in that hot weather in Helmand.”