More than 1,000 Afghan troops have been forced to flee into Tajikistan as Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province is increasingly coming under control of the Taliban.  

A statement released by the Main Border Guard Directorate of the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan on July 5, in particular says that Taliban militants seized Khahan, Shikai, Nusai, Mahimai, Shighnan and Sultan Ishkashim districts in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province in the night on July 5.  

As a result of skirmishes, 1,037 Afghan troops have reportedly been forced to cross into Tajikistan.

According to the Tajik border service’s statement, 104 Afghan troops crossed into Tajik territory in Shamsiddin-Shohin district of Khatlon province, 296 Afghan troops crossed into Tajik territory in Darvoz district of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), 173 Afghan troops crossed into Tajik territory in GBAO’s Vanj district, 312 Afghan troops crossed into Tajik territory in GBAO’s Shugnan district, and 152 Afghan troops crossed into Tajik territory in GBAO’s Ishkashim district.   

This is the fifth known case of large numbers of Afghan troops seeking refuge in Tajikistan in two weeks.

Thus, taking into account Afghan troops that fled into Tajik territory earlier, a total number of Afghan troops that crossed into Tajik territory over the past two weeks is 1573. 

Recall, more than 130 Afghan soldiers escaped across Sher Khan Bandar border crossing after coming under a sustained assault on June 22.

In the morning of June 27, an armed group of Taliban militants launched an attacked on a border checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Kaldar district, forcing 17 Afghan troops to flee into Tajikistan.  The troops reportedly entered Tajikistan through its Shahritous border outpost. The Shahritous district is in the very southwestern corner of the country, where the border intersects with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

300 Afghan troops crossed into Tajikistan’s Khatlon province in the evening of July 4 as the situation has been aggravated in Khahan and Shahribuzurg districts of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province, and 94 other Afghan troops crossing into Tajik territory in the evening of July 4. 

The Main Border Guard Directorate press center refrained from giving further details.  They, for example, did not answer the questions where the Afghan troops will be placed and what will happen to them next, and whether there are civilians among those who crossed the border.