Uzbekistan said in a statement late Monday that it carried out the "forced landing" of 46 Afghan aircraft crossing into its airspace as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan and a transitional government is formed.
Hundreds of Afghan soldiers fled to Uzbekistan with 22 military planes and 24 helicopters last weekend, including one aircraft that collided with an escorting Uzbek fighter jet, causing both to crash, the Central Asian country's officials added.
The Uzbek Ministry of Defense earlier also said an Afghan military jet had been shot down after crossing the border.
A total of 585 Afghan soldiers have arrived on aircraft and 158 more crossed the border on foot on Sunday, the Uzbek prosecutor general's office said in a statement.
The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan over after taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul while Western nations scrambled on Monday to evacuate their citizens amid chaos at the airport as frantic Afghans searched for a way out.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday that, "The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honor, property and self-preservation of their countrymen," after fleeing the country as the militants entered the capital virtually unopposed, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed. The ensuing hours saw hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flood Kabul airport.
"Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years," Mohammad Naeem, the spokesperson for the Taliban's political office, told Qatar-based media outlet Al-Jazeera TV. "Thanks to God, the war is over in the country."
It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country after a lightning sweep that ended in Kabul as government forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away.
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