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Afghan refugee gives birth to quintuplets

world Updated: Jun 25, 2007 16:00 IST

AFP
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A 32-year-old Afghan woman living in southwest Pakistan has given birth to quintuplets, in what is thought to be the first such case for the country's huge refugee population, doctors said on Monday.

The four boys and a girl were doing well with their mother, identified as Amna Bibi, after they were born on Sunday in a hospital in Quetta, said gynecologist Marvi, who goes by one name.

The proud father, who runs a small grocery shop in a suburb of Quetta, said the couple already had two older daughters while another son had died some time ago due to illness.

"I prayed to God to give a son to me, and he gave me four sons and one daughter at the same time instead of one," said Maulvi Anees Ur Rahman.

The couple fled war-shattered Afghanistan with their families more than 20 years ago during the Soviet occupation and settled in Pakistan. <b1>

Pakistan is trying to get most Afghan refugees to return home, saying that some are involved in the Taliban insurgency in southern Afghanistan.

Hundreds of thousands living in four camps in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province have been asked to either go home or to move to new camps further from the border.

More than 2.8 million Afghans who fled a quarter-century of instability in their homeland have returned since 2002 under a United Nations-assisted voluntary scheme, but almost the same number remain in Pakistan.