The ex-Soviet Central Asian country says it has tents, bedding, and other materials for potential refugees, adding it could absorb more refugees if necessary.

Afghan migrants walk along the shoulder of a highway as they make their way from the Iranian border to the city of Tatvan in the eastern Lake Van region of Turkey on August. 24, 2020.
Afghan migrants walk along the shoulder of a highway as they make their way from the Iranian border to the city of Tatvan in the eastern Lake Van region of Turkey on August. 24, 2020. (AFP Archive)

Tajikistan has said it is ready to accept up to 100,000 refugees from Afghanistan, where the Taliban has claimed huge military gains as US-led troops withdraw.

The ex-Soviet Central Asian country is working with international organisations to prepare for an influx of Afghans, the deputy head of Tajikistan's emergencies committee Emomali Ibrokhimzoda told a press briefing on Friday.

Ibrokhimzoda said it was "currently possible to receive and place about 100,000 refugees from Afghanistan" at military training grounds in the country.

READ MORE: War at home, and ‘political war’ abroad for Afghan refugees

Refugee camp prepared

Tajikistan is storing tents, bedding, and other materials for potential refugees, Ibrokhimzoda said, adding it could absorb more refugees if necessary.

Earlier this week the Taliban claimed to be in control of over 90 percent of Afghanistan's borders — which the government dismissed as a lie on Friday.

Tajikistan shares a border of around 1,300 km with Afghanistan. The Taliban took control of the main crossing with Tajikistan in June.

Tajikistan has already provided temporary shelter to more than 1,000 Afghan government troops forced to retreat under fire from the militants.

Tanks deployed

On Thursday, Tajikistan checked the combat readiness of its soldiers in the biggest such exercise ever in the country, while Russian tanks arrived at training grounds near the border with Afghanistan ahead of joint army drills.

The tanks were deployed from Moscow's base in Tajikistan, whose neighbour Uzbekistan is expected to join the two countries for the drills that begin on August 5.

Russian Foreign Ministry official Zamir Kabulov said in a Thursday interview to the Ekho Moskvy radio station that the drills would be a "signal" to Central Asian populations that the situation in Afghanistan will not threaten the region.

Source: AFP