Kunduz attack worries central Asian countries
The Taliban captured Kunduz City, the capital of northern Kunduz province which borders Tajikistan, last week and ruled the city for three days before they were pushed back from some key areas by Afghan security forces.
The Taliban, who attacked the strategic city from four directions and captured it within few hours, have already seized two districts of Kunduz province.
Sporadic clashes are still ongoing in the city amid reports that residents are facing acute shortages of food and water supplies.
Worried about a possible spillover of violence from Afghanistan to central Asian countries, Russia's military has said it will beef up its force in Tajikistan with attack and military transport helicopters.
The 201st military base, the largest Russian Ground Forces base outside of Russia, is currently located on the outskirts of Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe.
The military base is approximately 200 kilometers away from the border, while the airfield where the helicopters are to be stationed is slightly farther.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has said Tajikistan was "extremely concerned" about the situation along the Tajik-Afghan border.
During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday, Rahmon said the situation in Afghanistan was "getting worse by the day."
"Practically, fighting is going on along more than 60 percent of the Tajik border with Afghanistan," he added.
For his part, Putin said, “We need to talk about both bilateral relations and the situation in the region, which we are certainly worried about."
The comments come as Tajik ambassador to Afghanistan Sharofiddin Imom met Tuesday in Kabul with Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, according to a statement from the CEO office issued on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the sides discussed issues related to stabilization of the situation along the Tajik-Afghan border and the recent incidents of violence in Kunduz and other northern provinces.
The Tajik envoy said his country was ready to cooperate with Afghanistan in the war against terrorism. Abdullah said the Afghan forces had regained control of Kunduz City and the Taliban there would be defeated soon.
Political affairs expert Khushal Khalil said the central Asian countries were really concerned about the situation in northern Afghanistan because it threatened their security.
He said the way Moscow stepped into the Syrian war, it should provide all possible military support to Afghan security forces.
He said if the tide of insecurity in northern provinces was not reversed, it would pave the way for importing terrorism and narcotics to central Asian countries.
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