TERMEZ: Uzbekistan said Monday that it forced the landing of 46 Afghan aircraft carrying 585 troops that illegally crossed its border on a weekend which saw the Afghan government swept away by the Taliban.
The statement from the Central Asian country’s state prosecutor said 22 military planes and 24 military helicopters were “forcibly landed” at Termez airport in southern Uzbekistan on Saturday and Sunday.
Among the planes that crossed the border was an Afghan military plane that crashed in the southern province of Surkhondaryo, the statement said.
The state prosecutor said that the crash came after a collision between an Afghan military plane and an Uzbek government plane that was assisting its landing.
“The pilots of these aircraft landed by parachute,” the statement said.
The prosecutor’s statement also said that 158 civilians and military personnel had crossed over the Amu Darya river into Uzbekistan on Sunday and were now under criminal investigation.
Central Asia has watched with alarm as the government in Kabul collapsed.
Three former Soviet countries — Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — border Afghanistan.