On November 5th, an armed group attacked the Tajik border checkpoint Ishkobod near the Uzbek border. During the response by the authorities, 15 criminals were killed, five more were detained, the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) of Tajikistan reported.
“In the evening, an armed group of 20 masked men, using firearms, attacked the border outpost No. 4 Ishkobod of the military unit of the Sultanabad border detachment, which is located on the border with Uzbekistan, 60 km west of Dushanbe,” a representative of the Tajik Border Troops Management Press Service told RIA.
“As a result of the operation of the authorities, 15 members of the armed criminal group who were surrounded and killed, the remaining 5 were detained,” the GKNB press service said.
An operational investigative team is working on-site. The Border Agency of Uzbekistan stated that it is aware of the incident, the situation is being investigated.
A representative of the border security forces of the State Security Service told RIA Novosti that the Uzbek side is in contact with its Tajik colleagues.
The length of the state border of Tajikistan with Uzbekistan is more than 1.33 thousand kilometers. After the collapse of the USSR, about 20% of its lines remained non-separated and, as a result, not demarcated, that is, not marked on the ground. In March 2018, the presidents of the two countries signed an agreement to separate sections of the border.
Local media reported that the attackers may have belonged to ISIS.
The situation in Central Asia appears to be under threat of becoming a terrorist hot point, after numerous warnings from Russia that the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border is turning into a point of instability, with ISIS militants appearing there in large numbers.
In September 2019, Tajik Air Force chief of staff Colonel Jahongir Nazaralizod said that the number of ISIS militants along the border was approaching a critical mass.
“After the defeat of the international terrorist operation ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the leadership of this organization carried out a regrouping and concentration of forces on the territory of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Through campaigning and recruiting work, the number of ISIS * supporters in Afghanistan is increasing daily, which is already close to critical point,” said Nazarolizod.
Tensions with terrorists aren’t the only issue for Tajikistan, on September 16th it was announced that in a shootout on the Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan border, a Kyrgyz border guard was shot and killed.
“The Tajik side was the first to use weapons, firing at the Kyrgyz border post “Maksat”, and then – the temporary border post “Sai” in the Leilek district of Batken region,” TASS quoted a representative of the Kyrgyz border guard.
In July, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan agreed to patrol their common border.
RIA Novosti reported earlier that during a shootout between residents of the border villages of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, in the evening of July 22nd, 30 people were injured on both sides, including border guards and police. At the same time, one Tajik civilian died.
Tajikistan has recently also found itself as a focus of US interest in Central Asia, while ISIS is becoming a greater threat and Russia has been warning of instability since January 2019.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- ‘Unidentified Helicopters’ Deploying Large Numbers Of ISIS Terrorists To Afghanistan-Tajikistan Border
- Russian Leadership Is Concerned Over Possible Start Of Civil War In Tajikistan
- Tajikistan Finds Itself In Focus Of U.S. Attention In Central Asia
- Russia, Tajikistan Move To Boost Military And Security Cooperation
- Russia Is Strengthening Bases In Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan To Counter Militants Based In Afghanistan: Defense Minister