Uzbekistan said Monday it forced the landing of 46 Afghan planes carrying 585 troops that illegally crossed the border on a weekend when the Afghan government was wiped out by the Taliban.
A statement from the Central Asian country’s public prosecutor said 22 military planes and 24 military helicopters “forcibly landed” at Termez airport in southern Uzbekistan on Saturday and Sunday.
Among the planes crossing the border was an Afghan military plane that crashed in southern Surkhondaryo province, the statement said.
The prosecutor said the crash came after a collision between an Afghan military plane and an Uzbek government plane assisting in the landing.
“The pilots of these planes landed by parachute,” the statement said.
The prosecutor’s statement also states that 158 civilians and military personnel crossed the Amu Darya River into Uzbekistan on Sunday and are now under criminal investigation.
Central Asian Alert
Central Asia has watched with horror as the government collapsed in Kabul.
Three former Soviet countries – Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – border Afghanistan.
The reported crash of the military plane late Sunday in Uzbekistan made the media buzz as photos and footage of the debris and injured pilots circulated on Telegram.
Bekpulat Okboyev, a doctor in the city of Termez, the regional capital of Surkhondaryo, told AFP that late on Sunday his hospital admitted two patients wearing Afghan military uniforms, believed to be the pilots of the plane.
The doctor described one as “with a parachute” and noted that the man had suffered fractures.
Okboyev said his hospital also admitted three Afghan soldiers a day earlier after a total of 84 troops illegally crossed the border into the country while fleeing the Taliban.
Uzbekistan’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that those Afghan soldiers had been detained by Uzbek border services the night before but had received humanitarian aid.
The statement said Uzbekistan was negotiating with the “Afghan side” about their return home.
Uzbekistan’s neighbor Tajikistan said on Monday it had allowed more than 100 Afghan military personnel to land at Bokhtar airport in the south of the country.
“Tajikistan received SOS signals, after which, in accordance with the country’s international obligations, it was decided to land Afghan soldiers at the airport,” the information department of the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Russia’s Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies. .
RIA Novosti reported that three planes carrying the soldiers had landed in Bokhtar overnight.
Of the three Central Asian countries bordering Afghanistan, only Tajikistan has shunned talks with Taliban officials, who have assured neighbors of their commitment to regional peace and infrastructure projects.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)