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Afghan Child With Terminal Illness Dies in US Custody

An Afghan child who was brought to the US after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 2021 died while in federal government custody, a report said on Thursday. 

The 6-year-old boy had a terminal illness and passed away on June 13, CBS News reported citing anonymous US officials.

According to the report, the boy was one of the hundreds of Afghan children who arrived without their parents following their evacuation from Afghanistan. 

They were given to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, which accommodates unaccompanied adolescents, including those processed at the US-Mexico border because they arrived in the US without parents or other legal guardians.

In a Thursday statement to the American network, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed the child’s passing. It attributed it to “severe encephalopathy,” a condition related to a brain disorder or disease.

CBS News reported that the boy’s death marks this year’s third unaccompanied child death in HHS custody.