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Protests at airport as Germany deports 20 Afghans to Kabul

dpa
Kabul/Berlin
Twenty Afghan men arrived in the capital Kabul early on Wednesday after being deported from Germany, airport officials said.
Their chartered flight landed at 6:40 am (0210 GMT), marking the 38th deportation flight from Germany to Afghanistan since December 2016.
A total of 1,035 failed asylum seekers have been sent back to Afghanistan since then.
The deportations have been deeply controversial, with critics saying that the war-torn country is too dangerous to send asylum seekers back to.
Demonstrators had gathered near Berlin airport’s Terminal 5 on Wednesday evening ahead of the flight’s departure, protesting against the asylum seekers being sent back to Afghanistan.
Some of the demonstrators blocked access roads, others forced their way into the premises on the south-eastern edge of Berlin, airport police confirmed.
About 50 to 75 people had been expected at the demonstration, which was approved beforehand by Berlin authorities, but 350 people turned up.
The Brandenburg Refugee Council, which expected a deportation flight to Afghanistan to leave on Wednesday evening, had called for the protests.
Demonstrators chanted slogans and held placards calling for the deportation flight to be cancelled.
Despite a brief scuffle between officers and protesters, the demonstration went off peacefully on the whole, a police spokesman told dpa.
Police asked several demonstrators to leave, but no-one was detained.
The protest ended after the plane departed for Afghanistan, the spokesman added.
Almost daily attacks by Taliban militants are taking a toll on Afghan civilians. The Islamic State militia is also active in the country.
Despite the start of peace talks, the conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan government continues.

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