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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / IRELAND

Afghan Asylum Seekers Routed From Church

May 21, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Police removed Afghan hunger strikers from a Dublin cathedral, where they spent a week demanding asylum and threatening suicide if officers came near.

Officers swept into St. Patrick's Cathedral at sunset and hauled out about 40 protesters. No injuries were reported.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell defended his government's refusal to negotiate, calling the Afghans' threats blackmail that couldn't be tolerated.

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