Rights groups say EU fails Afghans fleeing Taliban

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Human rights and refugee groups are appealing to the European Union to step up its help for people trying to flee Afghanistan. The 24 NGOs accuse the bloc of failing to do enough to assist those living in fear of Taliban rule. More than 100,000 people were airlifted out of Kabul in a chaotic exodus late last month, and thousands more Afghans want to leave. The groups said in a joint statement Thursday that “the EU should be sharing, rather than shirking, the responsibility to offer them protection.” The EU’s asylum agency says asylum applications by Afghans numbered 7,300 in July – before the government fell – a 21% increase over June. Almost 1,200 were unaccompanied minors.

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