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More than 5,000 gunmen concentrated along Tajik-Afghan border — security committee

February 03, 2016, 10:55 UTC+3 DUSHANBE

Russia’s well-equipped military base is located in Tajikistan and is combat-ready, as evidenced by the results of the participation of its units in joint CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force drills

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© Sergey Zhukov/ITAR-TASS

DUSHANBE, February 3. /TASS/. Dushanbe is concerned about the ongoing concentration of armed units uncontrolled by Kabul along the border with Tajikistan. According to the Tajik intelligence data, there are at least 5,000 gunmen there, a spokesman for Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security (SCNS) told TASS on Wednesday.

"Our intelligence agencies are not only closely following the situation in the inhabited localities in this and other districts of Kunduz Province, but also took additional security measures by reinforcing the Panj border detachment," the spokesman said, commenting on reports of Afghan media about the appearance of several hundred armed foreign mercenaries in Afghanistan’s frontier Imam Sahib district. According to him, up to 5,000 militants are concentrated along the Tajik-Afghan border with a total length of 1,344 kilometers.

According to Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security, they include members of the Taliban movement, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Jamaat Ansarullah groups, there are a few dozen natives of Tajikistan. The SCNS officer noted that Dushanbe neither "underestimated nor overestimated these groups’ danger" having sufficient forces to rebuff the attacks and also "having strategic military allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), primarily Russia."

"Russia’s technically well-equipped 201st military base is located in Tajikistan, which is battle-ready, as evidenced by the results of the participation of its units in the joint large-scale exercises of the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force along the Tajik-Afghan border last May," he said, adding that the Russian military delegation led by Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov was in Dushanbe on Wednesday. It will discuss with Tajik counterparts the situation in the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force responsibility zone in Central Asia and the implementation of the agreements reached earlier on the military and technical equipment of the country’s armed forces.

Speaking about the number of Tajik citizens taking part in combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, above all, as part of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), the spokesman noted that Tajikistan’s competent authorities had relevant information on 900 people. According to various sources, some of them - from 150 to 250 - were killed in fighting against the government forces of these countries.

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