Tajikistan reportedly plans to reinforce its common border with Afghanistan with 1,000 troops

25/01/2016 11:31
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, January 25, 2016, Asia-Plus – Tajikistan reportedly plans to form special units to reinforce the most vulnerable stretches of its common border with Afghanistan.

AFP on January 22 cited military sources as saying that Tajikistan “is reinforcing the most dangerous sections of its border with Afghanistan with more than 1,000 extra troops.”

Tajikistan’s common border with Afghanistan is more than 1,400 kilometers in length, and some of its areas are controlled by the Taliban militants.

“Taking into account the complex situation on the border, a special unit is being created of border guards who are contract soldiers,” Tajik border troops commander Rajabali Rahmonali told parliamentarians on January 22.

Rahmonali called the situation on the border “complex,” with “Taliban fighters controlling a significant part of the Afghan border region.”

“Afghan government forces are carrying out operations close to the border to push back and destroy the Taliban fighters,” Tajik border troops commander added.

Military sources told AFP more than 1,000 troops were serving in the new unit and the numbers could grow, amid fears of jihadist violence spreading into Central Asia.

According to EurasiaNet.org, the proposed restructuring also would make the commander of the border forces responsible directly to the president rather than to the government as is the case now.

We will recall that Afghan news agency TOLO News reported on January 15 that Tajikistan has decided to suspend operations of its missions in Badakhshan and Kunduz following the attacks on the Indian Consulate in Balkh province and Pakistani Consulate in Nangarhar province.

Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) reportedly said that Tajikistan's Embassy in Kabul - through an official letter to the ministry - termed mounting insecurity as the main reason behind the closure of the consulates.

According to data from the Main Border Guard Directorate at the State Committee for National Security (SCNS), last year saw 30 skirmishes between Tajik border guards and armed drug traffickers on the Tajik-Afghan border.

Sixteen drug smugglers were killed.  No casualties were reported among Tajik border guards.

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