Uzbekistan’s Air Defense Forces Shoot Down Afghan Military Jet

Military cargo airplane in flight at high altitude
Ivan Cholakov/Getty Images

Uzbekistan’s air defense forces shot down an Afghan military plane on Monday, shortly after it crossed the border, the Uzbek Defense Ministry confirmed.

The jet crashed Sunday in Uzbekistan’s Surxondaryo province near Afghanistan, Reuters reported.

“Uzbekistan’s air defence forces prevented an attempt by an Afghan military aircraft to illegally cross Uzbekistan’s border,” Defense Ministry spokesman Bahrom Zulfikorov stated. He did not specify how many individuals were on board or if they survived the crash.

“Russia’s RIA news agency earlier on Monday cited Uzbekistan’s defence ministry as saying the pilot had ejected and was injured,” the outlet added.

Bekpulat Okboyev, a doctor in the province, told reporters his hospital received two patients wearing Afghan military uniforms on Sunday, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP). He described one of them as having arrived “with a parachute” and that the man had suffered fractures. The agency did not confirm if these individuals were on the downed aircraft.

“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,” the outlet continued.

Residents in an Uzbek city near Afghanistan’s border awoke to the prospect of having the Taliban as neighbors again amid the jihadists’ takeover of Afghanistan, AFP reported Sunday. Those living in Termez, a city of approximately 200,000, told the outlet they were concerned about the Taliban’s rise to power.

“They were never our friends and they are unlikely to be,” sixty-six-year-old Safar Tursunov commented, adding, “Uzbekistan is a prospering country. We don’t need neighbours like them.”

President Joe Biden on Sunday authorized an additional 1,000 American forces to deploy to Kabul and assist in a massive evacuation effort of American civilians and workers, as well as Afghan allies, while the Taliban declared victory.

“The additional 1,000 forces comes after Biden ordered another 1,000 on Saturday, on top of an initial 3,000 forces to join those at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, bringing the total number of U.S. forces in Kabul up to around 6,000,” Breitbart News reported.

The State Department and Department of Defense announced Sunday there were “thousands” of Americans stranded in Afghanistan.

“Tomorrow and over the coming days, we will be transferring out of the country thousands of American citizens who have been resident in Afghanistan, as well as locally employed staff of the U.S. mission in Kabul and their families and other particularly vulnerable Afghan nationals,” the statement read.

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