US visa program for Afghan allies comes up empty

By REUTERS
November 22, 2011 08:53

 
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KABUL - Afghans who have spent years working for US troops, diplomats or agencies say their lives are at risk for that service as soldiers head home, and fear a visa program that promised an escape for those facing serious threats has failed them.

The Afghan Allies program was approved two and half years ago for Afghans who have worked for the US government. Since then, of the 2,630 who have so far applied, 48 have been rejected and one has received an interview.

Not a single visa has been handed out under the program.

Those still waiting said they have been marked as traitors by the Taliban, and fear they will be targeted if they remain when the last of foreign combat troops leave at the end of 2014.

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