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Afghanistan turmoil

Afghan black market for visas thrives as embassies stay shut

People desperate to escape Taliban easy prey for sketchy 'travel agents'

Afghans gather outside the passport office in Kabul on Oct. 6 after Taliban officials announced they would start issuing passports again following months of delays.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Many embassies in Kabul remain closed following the collapse of Afghanistan's previous government, fueling a black market for visas sought by citizens desperate to leave the country.

The Taliban's takeover of the capital in August forced thousands of Afghans to flee the strife-torn nation but many remain and are willing to pay exorbitant sums to buy a visa. The new government restarted issuing passports in October.

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