One of three Afghan military officers detained after fleeing a U.S. training exercise to avoid returning to Afghanistan has been allowed to make a refugee claim in Canada.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman confirms Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada was turned over to Canadian authorities on Tuesday.
His lawyer, Razmeen Joya, says Canadian immigration agreed to reconsider Askarzada's request to make a refugee claim after she submitted documents showing he has a close relative in Canada.
Askarzada, along with Maj. Jan Arash and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar, took a cab from Massachusetts to New York in September and walked into Niagara Falls, Ontario. The three say they fear Taliban retribution in Afghanistan because of their work with U.S. soldiers.
Arash and Aminyar remain in custody near Buffalo pending deportation proceedings.