A Defense Ministry spokesman told the AFP on Monday that an Afghan military plane had crashed Sunday evening in Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia that shares a border with Afghanistan.
“The military plane crossed the border into Uzbekistan illegally. An investigation is underway,” said spokesman Bakrom Zulfikarov, who confirmed the Uzbek media coverage of the previous day’s crash in Afghanistan’s border province of Saur Condorio.
It may have been the plane that triggered a devastating attempt to force foreign nationals and many Afghans to flee the country after the Taliban captured the city from Kabul on Sunday. At the Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul, commercial flights were canceled as runways were flooded by tense Afghans when an airlift was set up.
At the airport, military planes, mainly Americans, evacuated diplomats and their local staff.
Bekbolat Okbov, a doctor at a hospital in the province of Surkondario, told the AFP on Monday that two patients wearing Afghan Armed Forces uniforms had been admitted to hospital there Sunday evening. One of the patients was discharged “with a parachute”, he said, and both suffered fractures. Three more suspects from Afghanistan were admitted to the hospital on Saturday.
Depressed by the loss of key US support, Afghan factions have repeatedly sought to use US forces and US withdrawal since the Taliban launched their offensive against neighboring Central Asian countries, especially Uzbekistan. .
On Sunday, 84 Afghan soldiers who had fled to Uzbekistan to escape a Taliban attack were arrested by Uzbek forces on the border.
Avoid airspace “until further notice”
Meanwhile, the Afghan Air Force has been left in the lurch and all civilian aircraft are being asked to avoid it, the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) said on Monday. In the process, the first European airline, Lufthansa, and Air France announced that they would avoid excessive travel to Afghanistan “until further notice”. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have indicated that they will no longer use Afghan airspace.
At a glance (“Airman Notice” or message to Airmans), the ACAA “instructs the aircraft to divert the aircraft”. “Any traffic through Kabul airspace will be unrestricted,” he added.
As for Air France, skipping Afghanistan modifies flights to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Delhi and Singapore. France is scheduled to launch its first airlift to exit Kabul by Monday evening using two C130 and A400M transport aircraft.