At least a dozen Afghan pilots have fled from the Taliban, landing in Uzbekistan
Afghan military personnel fleeing the Taliban are making their way into Uzbekistan, including more than a dozen pilots who flew into the country over the weekend.
U.S. Senate staffers and Pentagon officials are working with their counterparts in Uzbekistan to ensure the safety of these pilots, CNN reports, as there are concerns that they will be turned over to the Taliban now that the militant group is effectively in control of Afghanistan.
The Uzbek Foreign Ministry said in a statement released Monday that over the weekend, 84 members of the Afghan Armed Forces were detained at the Afghanistan-Uzbekistan border. The military members asked for help and received food and medical attention and were placed in temporary housing.
There is also a “growing presence” of Afghan military forces near a bridge connecting the Balkh province in Afghanistan with the Surxondaryo region of Uzbekistan, the foreign ministry said, and “measures are being taken to provide humanitarian assistance to these persons.” The ministry said it’s been in talks with Afghan officials on how to best return citizens to the country, but it’s not clear if they are negotiating with the Taliban or representatives of the collapsed Afghan government, CNN reports.