Five more hospitalised as Afghans continue hunger strike

Six of the Afghan asylum-seekers on hunger strike at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin have now been hospitalised as a result of their protest.

Six of the Afghan asylum-seekers on hunger strike at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin have now been hospitalised as a result of their protest.

Thirty-three of the men entered the cathedral on Sunday and said they would starve themselves to death if they were not allowed to remain in Ireland.

Another six also joined the protest yesterday.

The men say they are at risk of torture and death if they return to Afghanistan, but fear they will be deported following the rejection of some of their asylum applications by the Irish authorities.

One of them, a 17-year-old, was hospitalised with kidney problems yesterday, while another five were taken to hospital today.

Supporters say the others are also weak and tired as a result of their action.

A public demonstration is due to take place outside the cathedral later today to show solidarity with the men, who have been living in Ireland for between one and five years.

Some of the hunger-strikers apparently used to work for the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan or have relatives who did so.

They fear they will be targeted by anti-Taliban warlords if they return to the country.

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