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333 Afghan nationals arrive in Winnipeg, will live in various Canadian communities

A Canadian flag flies in the wind at Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday June 30, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck A Canadian flag flies in the wind at Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday June 30, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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Hundreds of Afghan nationals were brought to Canada on a charter flight and will go on to live in several Canadian communities, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller said Wednesday.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Miller welcomed the 333 refugees "home" and said their destinations include Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto, among 33 communities across the country.

The 333 refugees arrived in Winnipeg from Pakistan Wednesday, according to Miller.

Canada has brought more than 43,000 refugees "and some of the most vulnerable Afghans" to Canada since August 2021, when the Taliban took power in Afghanistan – following the U.S. withdrawal of troops in the country after 20 years of war – and enacted several oppressive measures targeting the freedoms and education of women.

Since then, the Taliban has barred women from most areas of public life and work and stopped girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade.

According to the UN children's agency, more than one million girls are affected by the ban, though it estimates five million were out of school before the Taliban takeover due to a lack of facilities and other reasons.

Pakistan has also deported more than 400,000 Afghans, as of Nov. 30, The Associated Press reported at the time.

Canada met its commitment, to bring 40,000 Afghan nationals to the country, at the end of the October and continues to resettle Afghan refugees through multiple humanitarian programs. These include programs that focus on vulnerable Afghans and those without refugee status from the UNHCR or a foreign state.

According to the government's website, refugees will go on to live in Abbotsford, B.C.; Halifax, N.S.; Moncton, N.B.; Prince Edward Island; Red Deer, Alta.; Saskatoon, Sask.; St. John's, N.L.; Thunder Bay, Ont.; Windsor, Ont.; and Winnipeg, Man.

Canada has also set up a webpage to help navigate its multiple special humanitarian measures for Afghanistan.

With files from The Associated Press

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