Britain targets phony Afghan asylum seekers

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's Home Office says asylum seekers who say they are from Afghanistan will tough get tough interviews to check whether their claims are genuine.

Officials estimate that 250 applicants per year fraudulently claim to be from Afghanistan. Immigration minister Phil Woolas says border controls are being tightened, and asylum seekers who say they're from Afghanistan will be tested on local dialects, customs and traditions.

Woolas said in a statement Tuesday that officials will also check fingerprints of asylum seekers claiming to be from North Korea. Some South Koreans try to enter Britain by posing as citizens of their northern neighbor. Their prints will be checked against a national South Korean database.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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