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Tajikistan holds largest military exercise in its history

The army of Tajikistan, Afghanistan’s northern neighbor, conducted its largest military exercise ever on Thursday. The Central Asian country’s President Emomali Rakhmon urged vigilance. As the US-led international forces leave Afghanistan, the Taliban have launched an offensive to retake territory.

Since the United States announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban have been on the offensive. Presently, they control a large part of the country and have been able to encircle most of its major cities. The border crossing between Afghanistan and Tajikistan has been taken over by the Taliban. The Tajik military mobilized more than 1,000 vehicles, hundreds of mortars and artillery guns, as well as dozens of aircraft, including helicopters, on Thursday for the 3-hour exercise, Rakhmon’s office reported.

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‘Due to the unstable situation in the region, I remind the people of Tajikistan that we must safeguard the peace and stability achieved at a price,’ Rakhmon said in a speech broadcast on state television. Twenty thousand military reserve troops were sent to strengthen the Tajik border with Afghanistan, he said.

As a result of the Taliban offensive, hundreds of Afghan servicemen crossed into Tajikistan earlier this month. Later, Tajikistan sent its soldiers back after the Kabul government arranged special flights to bring them home. Next month, Russia plans to hold joint drills with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, another former Soviet country bordering Afghanistan.


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