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Afghans Protest At Refugee Site In U.A.E., Seek Transit To U.S.

Afghans attend a protest on February 10 at a facility in Abu Dhabi where they have been housed since fleeing their homeland last year.

Afghan refugees have staged a protest at a facility in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), demanding that they be sent to the United States.

Thousands of Afghans were evacuated to the U.A.E. and have been housed at tightly controlled sites in the Persian Gulf state since the hard-line Islamist Taliban group seized control of their home country in mid-August 2021.

The U.A.E. agreed to take Afghans on a temporary basis until their applications were approved for transit to third countries, including the United States.

However, the process has dragged on, leaving them at the U.A.E. sites six months later.

The February 10 protest included men, women, and children, according to a Reuters photographer.

One protester told Reuters by phone that some Afghans were detained by U.A.E. authorities as the demonstrations began.

U.A.E. and the U.S. Embassy did not immediately comment on the situation.

It is not clear how many Afghans remain in the U.A.E.

Based on reporting by Reuters