More than 5,000 Afghan refugees gathered on the Afghan-Pakistani border near the cross point of Chaman (Beluchistan province), representative of the UN commission on refugees Fatuomata Kaba told journalists on Wednesday in Islamabad. According to her, the refugees request to let them go to the camp, situated on Pakistani territory not far from the border. The cause of their decision to leave Afghanistan is still unknown. The staff workers of the UN commission are going to visit the region of Afghanistan bordering on Pakistan and clarify the reasons of the refugees exodus. At the same time, the Pakistani authorities began preparing to dispatch the Afghan refugees to their homeland. On Wednesday, 1,600 refugees were taken off on trucks from the Jalozai camp near Peshawar, north-western border province of Pakistan. All of them were sent to the camp Kotkai in direct proximity from the Afghan border. The day before, another 1,400 Afghan refugees were delivered to the camp. As soon as the situation improves in Afghanistan, all the forced migrants will be able to return to their homeland without any obstacles. Another UN representative, Einar Holtet, dwelled on the food supplies to residents of several Afghan provinces. According to him the situation in the south of the country, the regions controlled by the Pashtu administration, remains unstable. Nevertheless, a group of UN specialists -- the staff workers of the World Food Programme -- is now assessing the possibility of resuming humanitarian operations.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea