Armed clashes in Afghan Kunduz may spread to Tajikistan, says Tajik expert

28/04/2015 11:46
Avaz Yuldoshev
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DUSHANBE, April 28, 2015, Asia-Plus -- Escalation of the situation in Afghan Kunduz Province bordering Tajikistan began last with clashes between the government forces and Taliban militants, Tajik researcher Qosimsho Iskandarov, an expert on Afghanistan, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

“Today the government forces are conducting a large-scale operation against the Taliban militants in Kunduz and they may achieve temporary success but they will not be able to stabilize the situation in the province for a long period,” the expert noted.

According to him, the Afghan authorities today needs external military assistance, local population’s support and skilled military personnel as never before for introducing order in the Kunduz province.

“Armed clashes being conducted in Kunduz, which borders Tajikistan’s Khatlon province, pose a threat to southern borders of our country and Tajikistan and its allies ought to be ready for all possible scenarios of continuation of war near our borders,” Iskandarov noted.

Meanwhile, Afghan media outlets report clashes continued Monday in three parts of Kunduz province as more security forces were deployed to fight insurgents.

Tolo News quoted Kunduz governor Mohammad Omar Safi as saying on Monday that fighting is underway in Aliaba and Imam Sahib districts and Gor Tepa area in eight districts of the city.  So far 40 insurgents have been killed and more than 20 injured, Safi said.  The six foreign militants who were killed in the attack come from the northwestern Faryab province, four of them were from Tajikistan and two were Chechens, according to officials.

We will recall that Russian Deputy Defense Minister, Anatoly Antonov, on April 9 wrote in the Russian Defense Ministry Twitter microblog, “IS (Islamic State) militants have already appeared near Tajikistan’s border.  Providing assistance to Tajikistan, we defend Russia, the CSTO member nations, our allies.”  He considers that Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan is able to protect Tajikistan and the CSTO member nations against the terrorist threat.

On March 5, Antonov told reporters in Moscow that the IS group already had a presence in Afghanistan.  He said that the IS militant group posed a threat to Russia's partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).  The main threat posed by the militants is to Tajikistan, Antonov noted.

Previously, in January, Antonov said that Moscow wanted to boost the Tajik national army as a CSTO outpost in Central Asia.

On March 14, CSTO head Nikolai Bordyuzha told reporters in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, that CSTO forces could be at the Tajik border within three days if a conflict broke out there.

Major-General Yevgeniy Tubol, the commander of the Russian military base in Tajikistan, told representatives of the Working Group on Afghanistan under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Foreign Ministers’ Council on April 2 that the base’s forces could be at the Tajik-Afghan border within a day if a conflict broke there.


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