Afghanistan: Troops leave; Taliban comes back; thousands of Afghans pour into makeshift camps

Afghanistan: Troops leave; Taliban comes back; thousands of Afghans pour into makeshift camps

Thousands of Afghans are pouring into makeshift camps in the capital where they face a harsh winter as the Taliban return to areas once cleared by foreign forces, who this week are marking the end of their combat mission.

On the grimy outskirts of Kabul, hundreds of families are huddled in flimsy tents or mud shelters at the Bagrami camp. By day the children forage for fuel and food. At night the families burn garbage to try to keep warm as the icy winds sweep down from the Hindu Kush mountains surrounding the city and temperatures plunge to below freezing.

“Violence has forced us out of our homes but here misery and poverty have made our life even more difficult,” said Abdul Qayyum, 52, who fled here with his wife and eight children. “Such a life is not worth living.” …

The insurgents are now once again on the move, and have extended the summer fighting season as foreign forces have handed over front-line combat responsibility to Afghan security forces. …

The insurgents have taken advantage of the vacuum and seized territory across the country, redrawing battle lines through urban areas and putting civilians at greater risk.

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