Eurasianet, 8 November 2019
On 6 November, a 20-strong armed group masked individuals assaulted a border outpost at the Tajik-Uzbek border, according to Tajikistan’s authorities. It claimed the group had crossed over from Afghanistan’s Qala-ye Zal district of Kunduz province which was rejected by Afghan military officials in Kabul. The Russian and other governments used the report to point to the alleged transnational threat emanating from Afghan-based IS groups. “Some of the details that the authorities have offered appear to be outright false”, the report says, adding:
The suggestion, made by Tajik authorities themselves, that the assailants were compelled to raid a border outpost for weaponry appears to undermine the Afghan link, however. Militants crossing without authorization from Afghanistan would surely have been better off sourcing light weapons there instead of having to steal them using force in Tajikistan. (…)
The presence of outsiders in any rural location in Tajikistan invariably attracts attention and with that the scrutiny of a vast network of security service informants. (…)
Plates seen on two of the cars in the Interior Ministry handout photos show them to be registered in Dushanbe, a fact that casts more doubt on the Afghanistan angle.
This article was last updated on 9 Mar 2020