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Over 1,000 Afghan soldiers flee to Tajikistan

By IANS
Over 1,000 Afghan soldiers flee to Tajikistan
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New Delhi, July 6: More than 1,000 Afghan soldiers have fled to the neighbouring Tajikistan after clashing with Taliban militants, officials have said.

The BBC reported the troops retreated over the border to "save their own lives", according to a statement by Tajikistan's border guard.

Violence has risen in Afghanistan and the Taliban have been making significant gains, particularly in the north of the country, in recent weeks.

The surge comes as the US, UK and their allies have started withdrawing their troops after 20 years.

The vast majority of remaining foreign forces in Afghanistan have left ahead of a September deadline.

There are concerns that the Afghan military, who were supposed to take over security in the country, will collapse.

Under a deal with the Taliban, the US and its NATO allies agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the militants not to allow any extremist group to operate in the areas they control.

But the Taliban did not agree to stop fighting Afghan forces, and now reportedly control about a third of the country, the report said.

The retreat is the third time Afghan soldiers have fled to Tajikistan over the past three days and the fifth case over the past fortnight. In total, nearly 1,600 soldiers have crossed the border.

The latest group of Afghan troops sought refuge early on Monday morning after fighting with militants during the night, Tajikistan's National Security Committee said.

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Over 1,000 Afghan soldiers flee to Tajikistan

New Delhi, July 6: More than 1,000 Afghan soldiers have fled to the neighbouring Tajikistan after clashing with Taliban militants, officials have said.

The BBC reported the troops retreated over the border to "save their own lives", according to a statement by Tajikistan's border guard.

Violence has risen in Afghanistan and the Taliban have been making significant gains, particularly in the north of the country, in recent weeks.

The surge comes as the US, UK and their allies have started withdrawing their troops after 20 years.

The vast majority of remaining foreign forces in Afghanistan have left ahead of a September deadline.

There are concerns that the Afghan military, who were supposed to take over security in the country, will collapse.

Under a deal with the Taliban, the US and its NATO allies agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the militants not to allow any extremist group to operate in the areas they control.

But the Taliban did not agree to stop fighting Afghan forces, and now reportedly control about a third of the country, the report said.

The retreat is the third time Afghan soldiers have fled to Tajikistan over the past three days and the fifth case over the past fortnight. In total, nearly 1,600 soldiers have crossed the border.

The latest group of Afghan troops sought refuge early on Monday morning after fighting with militants during the night, Tajikistan's National Security Committee said.

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