The Taliban control 90 per cent of Afghanistan’s borders, a spokesman told Russian media on Thursday, following offensives carried out by the hardline Islamist group as foreign forces withdraw.
“Afghanistan’s borders with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran, or about 90 percent of the border, are under our control,” Zabihullah Mujahid told the RIA Novosti news agency, a claim that could not be independently verified.
The militants are pushing across Afghanistan, snapping up territory, seizing border crossings and encircling cities, with the withdrawal of US and NATO troops all but complete.
The resurgent militants now control about half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts.
Ex-Soviet Tajikistan, on Afghanistan’s border, held a large-scale military inspection — the first of its kind in the country’s 30-year history.
The Taliban’s offensives in recent weeks have forced Afghan refugees and government troops to make their way across the Tajik border.
Russia, which maintains military bases in Central Asia, said it would stage military drills with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan near the border with Afghanistan next month.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)