On Lithuania’s border, a former Afghan soldier is caught between war and politics


Migrants gather near a fence at a temporary detention center in Kazitiskis, Lithuania, August 12, 2021. REUTERS/Janis Laizans

KAZITISKIS, Lithuania, Aug 13 (Reuters) – As Taliban fighters seized a series of provincial cities across Afghanistan, thousands of kilometres away in a makeshift refugee camp in eastern Lithuania, former Afghan soldier Fazel Rahman looked back on a war he abandoned two months ago.

He said he had been warned by Taliban sympathizers in his home village that his life would be in danger unless he joined them, but he didn’t see that as an option so he decided to follow the path that tens of thousands of other Afghans have already taken and make his way to Europe.

“The situation in our country has got worse. The Taliban killed my cousin,” said Fazel Rahman, who served for 15 years in the Afghan army. “I fled with my kids because they threatened me, warning me to leave my duty.”

Now waiting in a former school building in the village of…

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