Senior U.S. Senate officials were working with Pentagon officials Sunday evening to help Afghan pilots who fled the country and landed in Uzbekistan, where U.S. officials feared they would be handed over to the Taliban, according to a U.S. Senate source.
Members of the Senate were also trying to deal with State Department officials, who are already overwhelmed by the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the source said.
With the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, more than a dozen Afghan pilots fled the country by plane. Countries bordering Afghanistan are grappling with the Taliban takeover and must decide how to deal with Afghans fleeing to their countries.
CNN has obtained documents showing the identification of the pilots, which the United States seeks to protect, but does not share the information publicly.
CNN has contacted the Department of Defense and the State Department for comment.
What Uzbekistan says: Uzbekistan said it detained 84 Afghan armed forces at the border between the two countries on Saturday.
The group of Afghan soldiers did not resist when they were detained by the Uzbek state security services, according to a statement from the Uzbek Foreign Ministry released on Monday. They called for help and medical assistance for three injured people.
“The screening procedures and the necessary sanitary and epidemiological measures have been carried out with these Afghan citizens, medical assistance has been provided to some, food and temporary accommodation have also been organized,” said the press release of the Uzbek Ministry of Affairs. foreigners.
The ministry said there was a “growing presence” of Afghan military forces on the Afghan side of the Termez-Hairaton bridge, which connects the town of Hairatan in Balkh province in northern Afghanistan to Termez in the region of. Surxondaryo in Uzbekistan.
“Steps are being taken to provide humanitarian aid to these people,” the ministry said.
The ministry said it was negotiating with Afghan officials over the return of its citizens, but did not specify whether any conversations were taking place with the Taliban or the recently collapsed Afghan government.
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