Those who can leave are trying to get out as soon as they can…..
Across Afghanistan, a mass exodus is unfolding as the Taliban press on in their brutal military campaign, which has captured more than half the country’s 400-odd districts, according to some assessments. And with that, fears of a harsh return to extremist rule or a bloody civil war between ethnically aligned militias have taken hold.
So far this year around 330,000 Afghans have been displaced, more than half of them fleeing their homes since the United States began its withdrawal in May, according to the United Nations.
Many have flooded into makeshift tent camps or crowded into relatives’ homes in cities, the last islands of government control in many provinces. Thousands more are trying to secure passports and visas to leave the country altogether. Others have crammed into smugglers’ pickup trucks in a desperate bid to slip illegally over the border.
In recent weeks, the number of Afghans crossing the border illegally shot up around 30 to 40 percent compared to the period before international troops began withdrawing in May, according to the International Organization for Migration. At least 30,000 people are now fleeing every week.
The sudden flight is an early sign of a looming refugee crisis, aid agencies warn, and has raised alarms in neighboring countries and Europe that the violence that has escalated since the start of the withdrawal is already spilling across the country’s borders….