Australia lifts freeze on Afghan refugee claims

CANBERRA, Australia— Australia has lifted a six-month freeze on processing refugee claims from Afghan asylum seekers, the immigration minister said.
In April, Australia suspended claimed from both Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum seeks, citing improved conditions in those countries. The Sri Lankan ban was lifted in July.
The Afghan freeze was due to be reviewed next week, but Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Thursday that he was lifting the suspension immediately based on information from the Department of Immigration and the Australian Embassy in Kabul.
He did not give further details.