Pakistan has returned five more Afghan soldiers who were given safe passage by the Pakistan Army after losing control of a military post on the Pak-Afghan border, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
The military's media wing said that the soldiers were handed over to Afghan authorities at Nawa Pass in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's Bajaur district after the due procedure at 17:45 Pakistan Standard Time (PST) on Wednesday.
"These Afghan soldiers were given safe passage into Pakistan, on their own request, by the Pakistan Army in Arundu Sector of Pak-Afghan International Border, Chitral, on 26th July," the official communiqué read.
After necessary clearance, the ISPR said, the Afghan soldiers crossed into Pakistan. "The soldiers have now been returned to Afghan authorities on their request."
The Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and Border Police were given safe passage into Pakistan by the army on July 25, according to the ISPR.
ANA local commander had requested the Pakistan Army for refuge and safe passage for the troops.
The military’s media wing said after necessary clearance, the Afghan soldiers crossed into Pakistan with their weapons, ammunition and communication equipment.
On July 27, a group of 46 soldiers including five officers along with their weapons, ammunition and equipment were returned to their country in a dignified manner.
Previously on July 1, at least 35 Afghan soldiers also requested the Pakistan Army for refuge due to the inability to hold their military post along the international border.
They were also given safe passage into Pakistan and handed over to Afghan government authorities after the due procedure.
During recent weeks of fighting, the 300,000 strong Afghan security forces have lost many districts to the Taliban's offensive, with security forces often surrendering without a fight. The Taliban have seized most of the landlocked country's international border crossings.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier that the Afghan security forces' first job was to make sure they could slow the Taliban's momentum before attempting to retake territory, as Afghan forces plan to consolidate forces around strategically important parts of the country.
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