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Germany Suspends Afghan Deportations After Kabul Blast

Afghans whose asylum applications were rejected arrive from Germany at Kabul airport on March 28.

Germany temporarily suspended deportations of failed asylum seekers to Afghanistan following a massive truck bombing in Kabul.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on June 1 that the majority of deportations would remain on hold until the Foreign Ministry had completed a review of the current security situation in Afghanistan, which is expected to happen by July, and the German Embassy in Kabul was functioning again.

A May 31 bomb blast killed at least 90 people and wounded more than 400 in Kabul's diplomatic quarter, where the German Embassy was badly damaged. Following the attack, Germany canceled a plane that was to take deportees to Kabul.

Merkel said the moratorium on deportations would not apply to criminal offenders, asylum seekers who were considered a security threat in Germany, and those refusing to be formally identified by authorities.

The program under which rejected asylum seekers voluntarily returned to Afghanistan will continue, she added.

In the past, most Afghans whose asylum bids were rejected were allowed to remain in Germany due to the security threat in Afghanistan. But last year, Berlin decided to designate parts of the country safe for return.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP