“We have received a SOS signal, after which, in accordance with the country's international obligations, it has been decided to allow the Afghan military to land at the airport in the city of Bokhtar.  More than 100 Afghan military personnel have arrived in Bokhtar and they are there now,” the Tajik MFA information department told Asia-Plus yesterday evening.  

The Tajik MFA, however, yesterday denied the report released by the Kabul-based news outlet TOLONews about arrival of 18 Afghan aircraft in Tajikistan as unfounded.  “Only two Fagan aircraft landed in Tajikistan and flew back, passengers stayed here,” the Tajik MFA information department noted.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe told Asia-Plus yesterday evening that 18 aircraft, including 16 military transport planes and two passenger planes, flew to Tajikistan from Afghanistan Sunday night.  

According to him the Afghan Ambassador to Tajikistan Mohammad Zahir Aghbar welcomed passengers of those 18 aircraft.   

A representative of the Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe told Eurasianet that more than 140 servicemen flew into Bokhtar airport in Tajikistan’s Khatlon province  on August 15 onboard at least 16 different aircraft.  He said the pilots had commandeered the aircraft to ensure they did not fall into the hands of the Taliban.

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, citing its sources in the Emergencies Committee under the Government of Tajikistan, said 143 Afghan servicemen flew into Bokhtar airport at three aircraft. The troops reportedly handed over 55 items of small arms and were later housed at the dormitory of a local university.

According to Eurasianet, TOLOnews published video footage of the Afghan Ambassador to Tajikistan, Mohammad Zahir Aghbar, welcoming a group of fugitives.

Recall, residents of Bokhtar, the capital of Khatlon province, told Asia-Plus yesterday that several planes landed at the Bokhtar airport Sunday night.  

According to rumors, several planes also landed at the airport in Kulob.  But no one knows what these planes were and who flew on them.  

“On other days, there was no such flow of aircraft.  But we do not know what these planes were and where they did come from,” said a resident of Bokhtar living near the local airport.   

The head of the Bokhtar airport, Farhod Abdurashidzoda, however, denied these rumors as baseless in a short conversation with Asia-Plus by phone