Afghan Authorities Control Hairatan Section of Border With Uzbekistan, Border Officer Says
TERMEZ, Uzbekistan (Sputnik) - A section of the Afghan-Uzbek border in the vicinity of the Afghan port of Hairatan, neighbouring Uzbekistan's Termez city, is controlled by Afghan authorities, not the Taliban movement*, an Uzbek border officer on duty at the Termez checkpoint told Sputnik on Friday.
"The situation at this section of the Uzbek-Afghan border remains as usual ... The Hairatan area [Hairatan bridge across the Amu Darya] is still controlled by Afghan border guards", an Uzbek officer on duty on the bridge said. "Several days ago, clashes could be heard on either side of Hairatan on the territory of Shortepa and Kaldar counties, but now we see a lull".
© REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUIA convoy of Afghan Special Forces is seen during the rescue mission of a policeman besieged at a check post surrounded by Taliban, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021
A convoy of Afghan Special Forces is seen during the rescue mission of a policeman besieged at a check post surrounded by Taliban, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021
© REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUI
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated earlier that the movement controls around 90% of the border, including those with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Iran.
The militants have been boosting their activity, clashing with Afghan government forces since the US and their allies began the pullout in May. The withdrawal started after the deadline set by the Trump administration in US-Taliban peace talks in February 2020 had already expired, but the White House stressed its plans to complete the pullout by September 2021.
* Taliban is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.