Afghanistan: Soldiers escape to Tajikistan after Taliban conflicts

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More than a thousand Afghan government forces crossed the border into neighboring Tajikistan within the early hours of Monday morning following clashes with Taliban militants, Tajik border forces said during a statement published by the Khovar press agency.

The Taliban continued their campaign of offensives against government-controlled areas within the north of the country as the US and other international troops withdraw from the central Asian country.

A total of 1,037 Afghan soldiers crossed the border at seven different locations to “save their lives,” the Tajik border forces statement said.

“Guided by the principles of humanism and good neighborliness,” Tajik authorities allowed the retreating soldiers to enter Tajik territories.

Afghan districts fall to the Taliban militants took control of several districts within the Badakhshan province bordering Tajikistan over the weekend.

The biggest gains for the Islamist group are within the north of the country, once the domain of warlords allied with the US forces.

Almost 20 years after first invading the country, US and allied troops will fully pull out by 9/11, the anniversary of the attacks that triggered what US President Joe Biden has called the “forever war.”

Sweeping gains made by the Taliban before the ultimate withdrawal have raised fears that government forces will collapse and therefore the Islamists will return to power.

Afghan forces abandoning without a fight. In the face of the Taliban’s onslaught, government forces are affected by poor morale, consistent with a provincial councilor in Badakhshan.

“Unfortunately, the bulk of the districts were left to Taliban with none fight,” Mohib-ul Rahman told the AP press agency.

Only two of the ten districts that fell to the Taliban put up any resistance, he said, with many soldiers and cops surrendering their posts and fleeing to the capital of Faizabad.

Tajikistan reinforces the Afghan border as the exodus continued, Tajikistan’s president ordered the mobilization of 20,000 military reservists to strengthen the border with Afghanistan.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon made calls to allies like Russian leader Putin that features a big military presence within the former Soviet republic.

Putin told Rakhmon he would support Tajikistan if it had to strengthen the border with Afghanistan, both directly and thru a regional security bloc, the Kremlin

said during a statement.

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