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  Friendship Bridge opens for Afghan aid
Updated 09 December 2001, 16.00

Some much-need aid is finally getting to those who need it in Afghanistan as an important bridge opens up for the first time in four years.

Millions of Afghan refugees who have fled the war in their country, especially children, are in desperate need of food, shelter and warm clothing.

Click here for map of the border area of northern Afghanistan

Agencies say young children are already dying in the freezing conditions because they have few warm clothes and only flimsy tents.

Friendship


The Friendship Bridge, as it's known, goes across the Amu Darya river from the border town of Termez and a train carrying aid was the first important vehicle to cross it on Sunday.

The bridge is vital for cities like Maza-e-Sharif as it now means trucks can deliver aid in 40 minutes. Without it, it takes 10 days.

The bridge was shut in 1997 because of fighting between the Taleban and opposition forces.

On Saturday, thousands queued up impatiently to get supplies from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) who were handing out aid in Kabul in their biggest operation in the country ever.




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