A nine year-old Afghan boy who had fled the Taliban has died in Bratislava.
Police said the boy, whose six other family members had also fled to Slovakia, was found wandering around the capital exhausted, undernourished and barely clothed.
They said the family had been bought to Slovakia by a people smuggling gang.
A medical examination later found the boy had contracted tuberculosis. It is unclear where he picked up the disease.
Slovakia, where Afghans have traditionally made up the majority of asylum-seekers, has been bracing itself for a wave of refugees from Afghanistan since the September terrorist attacks on the US.
So far border police and immigration officials say the numbers of refugees coming into the country has not risen dramatically.
Human rights organisations claim the journey from the war-torn central Asian state to Slovakia can take anywhere between two and six months.
The boy's family admitted they had spent all the money they had in getting to the country.
19. Nov 2001 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA