More than 1,000 members of Afghanistan's security forces have fled to Tajikistan, following advances by the Taliban.
Reuters reported that the retreats recorded on Sunday were the largest the country has seen thus far. Dozens of the individuals who ran off, however, were reportedly caught by the Taliban.
Tajikistan’s border guard service said 1,037 Afghan servicemen moved across the border with their permission after the Taliban seized districts in northern Afghanistan, according to the news service.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Takij President Emomali Rakhmon spoke by phone on Sunday to discuss the development, Reuters noted.
“Special attention was paid to the escalation of the situation in Afghanistan's northern areas adjacent to Tajikistan,” Rakhmon’s office said in a statement, according to the news service.
The office added that Rakhmon communicated concerns regarding “forced crossings” by members of the Afghan security forces.
Rakhmon also reportedly spoke with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin blasts cancel culture, calls gender fluidity 'crime against humanity' Russia breaks daily COVID-19 infections, death record US, allied nations force REvil ransomware group offline: report MORE on Monday, who said Moscow would support Tajikistan directly and via a regional security bloc.
“The Taliban cut off all the roads and these people had nowhere to go but to cross the border,” a senior Afghan official told Reuters on Monday.
The crossings came after U.S. troops vacated the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan after almost 20 years as part of President BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE's goal of withdrawing all U.S. troops from the region by Sept. 11.
Last month, the Pentagon said it estimated that it had “completed greater than 50 percent of the entire retrograde process.”
New analysis from the U.S. intelligence community reported in June determined that Afghanistan’s government could collapse as soon as six months after all U.S. troops are pulled form the country.