Nearly 70 Afghans are seeking asylum in Britain following last week's hijacking of an Ariana Boeing 727. The former hostages are facing resistance from the British government.
Home Secretary Jack Straw stated as early as last week that he "wished to see removed from Britain all those on the place as soon as reasonably practicable." Straw denied any attempt to prejudice the 69 asylum applications that have been received by Parliament.
According to government sources, Britain has also entered into discussions with Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazahkstan, India, Pakistan and the U.S. and that the refugees could be removed, either to a third country or to Afghanistan, within days.
The released hostages are currently being held in a makeshift immigration center in Gloucestershire.
[Source: BBC World News - February 14, 2000]
Media Resources: BBC World News - February 14, 2000