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Over 20,000 Afghan refugees return home within week: UN agency

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Over 20,000 Afghan refugees had returned or been deported from neighboring Pakistan and Iran during the period of July 29-Aug. 4, the UN Migration Agency IOM reported Tuesday.

A total of 19.513 Afghans have reportedly arrived in their homeland over the period from Iran, 5 percent less than the previous week, said IOM in a statement.

Meanwhile, 954 Afghans have returned from Pakistan back home over the period.

"This number marks a 700-percent increase compared to the previous week (137)," the statement noted.

The IOM has provided post-arrival humanitarian assistance, including food and non-food items to the returnees.

More than 463,000 Afghan refugees have returned to the poverty-stricken country from the two neighboring states since Jan. 1 this year, the statement said.

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