Nearly all of Afghanistan’s neighbours have been forced to beef up their border forces amid rapid Taliban advances in all directions and the Islamist group’s seizure of major border checkpoints. This week, the militants claimed that they were now in control of 85 percent of the country’s territory. The Kabul government has dismissed these claims.
Ashgabat has deployed an entire trainload of heavy military equipment to the town of Serhetabat, southeastern Turkmenistan near the border with Afghanistan, local media report, citing sources on the ground.
A source told Turkmen.news that combat alerts have been issued repeatedly in recent days among troops serving in detachments along the southern border amid sounds of explosions and gunfire across the frontier. Two explosions on the night of 8 July were said to be powerful enough to shake the ground on the Turkmeni side. Amid the chaos, residents of Serhetabat reported spotting a convoy of eight trucks carrying troops in full combat gear driving through the town.
Ashgabat closed the Akina border crossing between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday after the Taliban took control of the Afghan side and blocked the road at the checkpoint. The Akina crossing is expected to remain closed for at least one week. The Afghani government has vowed to restore control. The closure of the border has reportedly put Afghani communities in the border area at risk of…