Taliban Reportedly Seize Border Island In Uzbekistan

Taliban Reportedly Seize Border Island In Uzbekistan


Update (0605 EST 23AUG22):

From the Uzbek government:

??About the conflict on the Uzbek-Afghan border

On August 21, 2022, a group of Afghan citizens who illegally crossed the state border of the Republic of Uzbekistan and came to the shore of the island in boats were observed on the island of Paygambar (Surkhandarya region).

Border violators resisted the Uzbek border guards who came to this place.

In order to clarify the identity and carry out investigative actions, a special event was held, and all border violators (24 people in total) were arrested.
During the interrogation, it became known that they went to collect licorice root, which is widespread in the border regions of Uzbekistan.

Currently, the territory of the “Prophet” island is under the full control of the border troops of Uzbekistan.“

Over the last 24 hours a border dispute has flared between the Taliban and Uzbekistan. According to local media which recounted a Mazar-i-Sharif police official, 56 residents of the villages of Saripitav and Tokai of the Shurteppa district of Balkh province moved to the border island of Aral Baba on the Amu Darya River to start collecting licorice on 21AUG22. Several Uzbek border guards demanded the civilians leave, to which they responded that the island is part of Afghanistan.

The Uzbek border guards reportedly open fired, killing 3 civilians, wounding 3, and capturing 7 others. The Taliban responded by landing troops on the island, 43 on 21AUG22 and 46 on the night of 22AUG22. There are now approximately 90 militants on the island, with Uzbekistan troops massing. Reports have come in the Uzbek military helicopters have been deployed and have been spotted over flying the island. These islands have been the source of contention for the Uzbeks in the past when drug smugglers were found and killed. However, this would be the most extreme confrontation with the Taliban since they took power in August of 2021 and demanded the deportation of several hundred Afghan National Army aviators and their aircraft flown into Termez when the U.S. withdrew.

There is a single border crossing between the two countries on the Amu Darya near Termez. It is dubbed the friendship bridge after the Soviet Union retreated from Afghanistan and relations between the Taliban and Uzbekistan normalized. The Soviet Union actually used the bridge to not only invade, but also withdraw from the country after their nearly 10 year conflict.

This report is the result of single source reporting on the ground and has not been verified. This will be updated.




Tessaron United States Naval Academy alumni and current graduate student in Intelligence Analysis at American Military University. Covering flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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