Tajikistan 'mulls creating Afghan refugee camps'

Tajikistan mulls creating Afghan refugee camps amid Taliban advance: sources
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Tajikistan is reportedly looking into setting up camps for potential Afghan refugees amid a Taliban takeover of multiple districts in Afghanistan's north in the past few days.
The Taliban have recently taken over many districts close to Tajikistan [Vladimir Gerdo/TASS/Getty]

Tajikistan is looking into setting up camps for potential refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan amid escalating violence across the border, government sources told Reuters on Monday.

Taliban insurgents have taken over multiple districts in northern Afghanistan, adjacent to Tajikistan, over the last few days as foreign forces withdraw, forcing hundreds of Afghan security personnel to retreat into Tajik territory.

"Tajikistan is considering the matter of housing refugees from Afghanistan on its territory," a government official said on condition of anonymity as he and others were not authorised to comment publicly.

"The issue of setting up refugee camps is being discussed with partners as well," the official said without naming the potential partners. Another source, a security official, confirmed that plans to house refugees were on the agenda.

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The Tajik Foreign Ministry has declined to comment on whether Dushanbe plans to take in any Afghan citizens after being asked to do so by the United States, according to a published report. Washington has been looking for temporary accommodation for Afghans who have worked with US forces and might face Taliban reprisals.

The cross-border flight by members of the Afghan security forces underlines the rapidly deteriorating situation in the country, with rapid advances by the Islamist Taliban as foreign troops near a complete withdrawal after 20 years of war.

The Taliban have ceased attacks on Western forces but continues to target Afghan government and security installations.

Peace talks between the two sides remain inconclusive.

(Reuters)