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Afghan Invictus Games athletes who didn’t return home say Australia should grant them asylum

Speaking for the first time since missing their flight home in October, six Afghan men who live with disabilities after being wounded in the war say they are owed protection in Australia.

After his father’s death, Aminullah Arsalan joined the Afghan National Army at 18 so he could put food on the table for his family.

But before his 20th birthday, he had lost his leg in a Taliban ambush.

The now 25-year-old is among a group of six Afghan veterans – five athletes and one trainer – who have stayed behind in Australia following the Sydney Invictus Games in October.

The group represented their country at sitting volleyball, as well as in individual events including powerlifting.

But while the rest of the 11 members of the Afghan team got on their flight home, Arsalan and five others fled with little more than the clothes on their backs.

They have been looked after by members of the Australian-Afghan community in Sydney but say they lack housing suitable for their disabilities.

Going home though, isn’t an option.

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