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Kuwait: Iraqi refugees to be held in DMZ in event of war

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Kuwait City/Cairo (dpa) - Kuwait announced on Monday that it would not accept refugees from neighbouring Iraq in the event of a U.S.-led war on that country.

Any Iraqi refugees are to be held and taken care of in a 15-kilometre wide demilitarized zone between the two states.

A humanitarian coordination station (HOC) supported by the U.S. military together with Kuwaiti authorities and U.S. development aid programme USAID was opened in Kuwait on Monday to look after the needs of Iraqi refugees in the demilitarized zone.

"We are making steps to take care of the well-being of the Iraqi people and want to spare them unnecessary suffering in event of a clash,'' said HOC chairman, former Kuwaiti Lt. General Ali al-Moman, who added that it would be best for Iraqis to wait for help at home.

Saudi Arabia declared at the weekend that they have enlisted a number of U.S. troops to help prevent a massive influx of Iraqi refugees. The Saudi government was prepared to help up to 100,000 refugees at the border, it announced.

dpa mb abc mga sc

AP-NY-03-10-03 1045EST

Copyright (c) 2003 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 03/10/2003 10:45:34

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