Tashkent: As many as 84 Afghan soldiers have crossed the Afghan-Uzbek border and asked Tashkent for help, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
“On August 14, a group of 84 Afghan government soldiers crossed the border at one of the checkpoints and was detained by units of the border forces of the State Security Service. The frontier violators did not resist and asked for assistance, including medical one for three injured (soldiers),” the ministry said, as quoted by Sputnik.
The soldiers received medical assistance, food and temporary shelter.
According to the Russian news agency, the only province in the north of Afghanistan, Balkh, fell to the Taliban which brought the entire northern zone under the fighters’ control.
This comes after the Taliban wrested control of the fourth largest city of Afghanistan, Mazar-i-Sharif.
Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum and the “prominent “Jihad leader” Atta Muhammad Noor who was defending the city fled to Uzbekistan along with their fighters and sons, Khaama Press reported. Atta Noor said the collapse of Mazar-e-sharif was a plot and was aimed at getting himself and Marshal Dostum surrendered.
Meanwhile, the Taliban said that the provincial office, police headquarter; National Directorate of Security (NDS) local office, and 209th Shaheen corps have fallen to the fighters.
Afghanistan is witnessing a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against Afghan forces and civilians with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away. Taliban is now fast approaching Kabul.