Afghan soldiers left country as Taliban took control of country, with Afghan army collapsing.
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AA) – Amid the collapse of the Afghan army and government, 22 Afghan military planes as well as 24 helicopters with 548 soldiers on board violated Uzbekistan’s airspace in the past two days, said Uzbek officials on Monday.
The violations took place on Saturday and Sunday, and three Embraer-type planes carrying 314 Afghan soldiers also sought to land at Uzbekistan’s Khanabad Airport but were rerouted to Taraz Airport instead, said Uzbekistan’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
An Uzbek Mig-29 warplane instructed to follow the Afghan planes collided with one of them, then crashed in the Surxondaryo region while the pilots ejected out of the cockpit with their parachutes, it added.
The remaining Afghan aircraft with 585 soldiers were forced to land at Taraz Airport, and an investigation was launched on the incident.
The Uzbek Defense Ministry earlier announced an Afghan military plane was prevented from violating the country’s airspace near the Surxondaryo region on Sunday night, and that the two pilots of the downed plane were injured.
The rapid advances of the Taliban and the collapse of the Afghan government has led neighboring countries to seek to prevent Afghanistan’s instability from spreading.
The Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and took control of Afghanistan for the first time in almost 20 years, after US-led foreign forces occupied the country in 2001.
With the collapse of the Afghan government, the safety of Afghan civilians and evacuees are now in the spotlight.