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Tajikistan beefs up military presence on Afghan border as tensions rise, Russia urges calm

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Tensions have been mounting in western Asia following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last month, with Tajikistan reportedly beefing up its military presence on the Tajik-Afghan border in response.
The Russian foreign ministry said Thursday it has been made aware of reports that Tajik military troops have been stationed along the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan and urged a calm resolution.
“We observe with concern the growing tensions in Tajik-Afghan relations amid mutually strong statements by the leadership of the two countries,” ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev said Thursday, according to Reuters.
BIDEN HELPS SECURE TAJIKISTAN’S BORDER AMID US BORDER CRISIS
The Tajik government has exchanged blows with the newly instated Taliban regime in recent weeks, condemning the insurgent group’s lack of diversity in the Taliban’s interim government and expressing concerns over stability in the region.
“Recent developments in Afghanistan, linked to the political and humanitarian crisis and governance, pose a serious threat to regional security and stability,” Tajik President Emomali Rahmon said in an address to the U.N. General Assembly last week. “The current situation is a humanitarian catastrophe.”
“The growing intensity of fights between the ethnic groups and tribes in Afghanistan is another factor further destabilizing the political and security situation in our neighboring country,” he added.
In exchange, the Taliban warned the Tajik government against interfering in its internal affairs.
The insurgent group has additionally sent “tens of thousands” of fighters to the Takhar province in northern Afghanistan – which borders Tajikistan, Reuters reported Thursday.
Tajikistan also hosted a military parade this week in a southern province near the Afghan border.
RELATIVE OF MOTHER STUCK IN AFGHANISTAN DESCRIBES COUNTRY AS 'AN OPEN AIR PRISON'
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday expressed concern for U.S.-trained Afghan allies who fled to Tajikistan following the collapse of Kabul to the Taliban.
The Biden administration has faced fierce backlash for its handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation that followed.
The U.S. evacuated over 124,000 Americans and Afghan allies by Aug. 30, but the State Department was not able to complete the evacuation of all Afghan allies and now lawmakers are demanding answers.
“We have gotten no assistance at all from the State Department to move them,” Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., told Austin.
Scott said Afghans who fled to neighboring counties like Tajikistan, have yet to receive any assistance from the administration.
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“We had people in Uzbekistan – the State Department ignored them as well and said they would get to them when they got to 'em,” Scott said. “We have a lady in Tajikistan that's nine months pregnant. That's one of our pilots. And we need help removing them.”
Fox News could not immediately reach the State Department for comment on the escalating situation in western Asia.

Mayorkas admits ‘tragic rise’ of delta variant at US-Mexico border ‘surprised’ him

close Video DHS Secretary Mayorkas on expected new wave of Haitian migrants, horse patrol DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas discusses the new wave of expected Haitian migrants, the Biden administration's immigration policies, horse patrol at the border and 'Remain in Mexico' policy.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas conceded Monday that the surge of the COVID-19 delta variant at the border took him by surprise.
Speaking virtually at the 18th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference at Georgetown University, Mayorkas said, “What I didn't expect was the tragic rise of the delta variant. And we took a step back by reason of that. I did not expect to be in late September where we are.”
“We are confronted with a population of people that, as a general matter, that have a rate of illness of approximately 20%,” he continued. “When one is speaking of 7,000 or 7,500 people encountered at the border every day, if one takes a look at that the system, it is not built for that in a COVID environment where isolation is required.”
Mayorkas' comments came a day after he told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that approximately 12,000 Haitian migrants have been released into the United States amid the surge at the border in recent weeks.
“Approximately, I think it's about 10,000 or so, 12,000,” Mayorkas said regarding the number of those released. He also said that number could increase after 5,000 other cases are processed.
“It could be even higher. The number that are returned could be even higher. What we do is we follow the law as Congress has passed it,” he added.
MAYORKAS SAYS AS MANY AS 12K OUT OF 17K MIGRANTS HAVE BEEN RELEASED INTO US, AND ‘IT COULD BE HIGHER’
Former President Trump released a statement Sunday blasting the Biden administration for releasing the migrants, claiming they are doing so “with no vetting, checking or even minimal understanding of who they are.”
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“Some are very sick with extremely contagious diseases, even worse than the China Virus. They are not masked or mandated, but just let free to roam all over our Country and affect what was just a year ago, a great Nation,” Trump said.

Texas Border Patrol agents discover stash houses packed with nearly 100 illegal immigrants

close Video Texas sheriff rips the Biden administration for Border Patrol’s ‘inundated’ resources Jackson County Sheriff AJ Louderback says the administration wants open borders as thousands of migrants are released into the country.
Border Patrol agents in Texas discovered two stash houses just a stone’s throw from the U.S.-Mexico border packed with nearly 100 illegal immigrants.
Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement agencies discovered the first stash house at a home on Ligarde Street Thursday afternoon. The individuals were from Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
One of two stash houses discovered last week in Texas. (cbp.gov)
The second discovery came the following evening. Border Patrol agents received a tip about several illegal immigrants being housed at a home on Philadelphia Street – about five miles northwest of the first stash house.
Agents discovered more than 40 illegal immigrants inside the house. Those individuals had come from Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.
PROTESTERS OUTSIDE MAYORKAS' HOUSE UNFOLD GIANT BLANKET TYING BIDEN TO TRUMP
CBP said none of the apprehended migrants had been wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Agents provided them with PPE and they were medically screen before being processed.
CBP has not said whether any of the migrants tested positive for COVID-19. Fox News has reached out to CBP seeking additional information.
CBP said in a press release that the often “substandard conditions” encountered at stash houses can foster a breeding ground for illnesses or other communicable diseases.
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The discovery of the stash houses comes after border officials in Del Rio, Texas cleared a camp following the flood of thousands of Haitian migrants earlier this month.
Fox News' Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.