08/28/2018, 19.21
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Afghanistan’s war comes to the Tajik border with airstrikes and violent clashes

An unidentified plane bombed a forested area on the border killing eight Taliban. The strike follows a clash that left two Tajiks dead. Both Russia and Tajikistan have denied any involvement. Although clashes are rate on the Afghan-Tajik border, the security situation has worsened with dozens of checkpoints attacked and a dozen police officers killed over the past month

Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Tajik-Afghan border had become a battleground. An unknown aircraft, possibly Russian or Tajik, carried out an air strike in Afghanistan’s Darqad District, Takbar Province, killing eight Taliban and wounding another six, Afghan officials said.

This follows an incident on Sunday in which at least two Tajik border guards were allegedly killed by the Taliban trying to smuggle drugs into Tajikistan.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, confirmed the attack, saying that an aircraft bombed a forested area used by smugglers who had clashed with Tajik forest guards. However, both Russia and Tajikistan have denied any military involvement in Afghanistan.

“We do not have the right to bomb the territory of another state. If such necessity arises, the staff of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation will be convened at first to consider an air strike,” Tajikistan’s National Security Committee said in a statement.

On the other hand, Tajik authorities noted that a car carrying three Tajik citizens was attacked and two killed.

Unlike the Afghan-Pakistan border, clashes have been rare along Afghanistan's 1,400-kilometer border with Tajikistan. However, security in some Afghan border provinces has deteriorated over the past few months and regular clashes have broken out between Afghan security forces and militant groups, including the Taliban.

The Taliban have carried out dozens of attacks against check posts in recent weeks in the concerned province.  Earlier this month reports indicated that the Taliban had killed at least 12 border police officers in an attack on a border town in the Dasht-e-Qala District, Takhar Province.

This is not happening in a vacuum. In recent months, Islamic extremists have become more active in the region. Likewise, after its  defeat in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State group appears to be regrouping in Central Asia.

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