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Afghan military plane crashes in Uzbekistan amid Taliban takeover

Two men wearing uniforms taken to hospital from the site of the crash, one apparently with a parachute

A wounded man wearing Afghani military uniform is treated by medics in Uzbekistan, August 15, 2021. (Video screenshot / Twitter)
A wounded man wearing Afghani military uniform is treated by medics in Uzbekistan, August 15, 2021. (Video screenshot / Twitter)

TERMEZ, Uzbekistan — An Afghan military plane has crashed in Uzbekistan, the Central Asian country’s defense ministry said on Monday, confirming earlier reports.

“The military plane illegally crossed the border of Uzbekistan. An investigation is underway,” ministry spokesman Bakhrom Zulfikarov told AFP, confirming Uzbek media reports of a crash taking place late Sunday in Uzbekistan’s southern province of Surkhondaryo, which borders Afghanistan.

Zulfikarov said the ministry would prepare a statement on the crash.

Bekpulat Okboyev, a doctor in Surkhondaryo province, told AFP his hospital had taken in two patients who were wearing Afghan military uniforms on Sunday evening.

The doctor described one of the patients as having come in “with a parachute” and noted that the man had suffered fractures.

Central Asia has watched with alarm as Afghanistan’s government has collapsed.

Three former Soviet countries — Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — border the country.

On Sunday, Uzbekistan said 84 Afghan soldiers had been detained crossing the border, adding that it was negotiating with the Afghans over the soldiers’ return.

In a stunning rout, the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite the billions of dollars spent by the US and NATO over nearly 20 years to build up Afghan security forces.

The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital Sunday after the government collapsed and the embattled president joined an exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners.

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