Kremlin concerned over a new hotbed of tension along the Tajik-Afghan border

Kremlin concerned over a new hotbed of tension along the Tajik-Afghan border
Russia is concerned over the latest developments in Afghanistan and the emergence of a new hotbed along the Tajik-Afghan borders, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, June 23, according to TASS news agency.  
“In general, of course, the development of the situation in Afghanistan as the withdrawal of the American and NATO troops from this country is a reason for our close attention and concern...  Tajikistan is a very close, partner state to us.   Indeed, the emergence of a new hotbed of tension, threat -- this is what concerns us,” Peskov said.  
Recall, the Taliban on June 22 captured Afghanistan’s main border crossing with Tajikistan with Afghan security forces abandoning their posts and some fleeing across the border.      
As a result of Taliban’s attack on Sher Khan Bandrar, many Afghan government servicemen were wounded and killed and more than 130 other Afghan servicemen cross the border into Tajik territory, the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan (SCNS) said in its statement released Tuesday (June 22) afternoon.  
The Afghan servicemen reportedly crossed the border into Tajikistan in areas patrolled by 3rd and 4th frontier posts of the border unit “Panj” deployed in Khatlon province.  
“Guided by the principles of humanism and good neighborliness, Tajik border guards allowed the Afghan military to cross into Tajikistan without hindrance.  There are four wounded and one killed among the Afghan military,” the statement says. 
SCNS notes that the situation along the Tajik-Afghan border is assessed as tense and a total number of Afghan security forces wounded, killed and captured in Sher Khan Bandar is up to 100 people. 
According to the confirmed information, over the past ten days, clashes between government forces and Taliban militants have been going on in four Afghan provinces bordering Tajikistan.  To-date, Chahab, Yangi Qala, Darkad, Dasht-e Qala and Khajaghar districts in Takhar province and Dasht-e Archi, Imam Sahib and Qala-ye Zal in Kunduz province as well as Sher Khan Bandar and Kakul border crossing have fallen in the hands of the Taliban. 
The Taliban has taken control of dozens of districts across the country in recent weeks.  Taliban successes are partially due to the ongoing withdrawal of international forces from the country, which had supported government forces in engagements. 

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