Disabled Afghans embark on epic world tour

KABUL: Six disabled Afghans were due to begin an epic world tour this week in an effort to promote peace and understanding for their homeland after 23 years of devastating war.

The six will travel by road, ship and other means, taking in almost a dozen countries before arriving in the United States on September 11, 2003, according to United Nations spokesman Manoel e Almeida da Silva.

Afghanistan's ministry of martyrs and disabled has worked to ensure the travellers will have diplomatic access to countries including Britain, Egypt, France, Italy, Pakistan, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, he said.

The trip has been jointly backed by the UN's Development Programme and the locally-based Comprehensive Disabled Afghan Programme.

Out of a population of about 20 million, some one million Afghans are disabled, many as a result of the sustained warfare in the country. -AFP

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