Mon, 24 Feb 2020

DUSHANBE -- Militants of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group have attacked a border post in Tajikistan, killing a border guard and one police officer, Tajik authorities say.

The National Security Committee (KNB) said at 3 a.m. local time, the 20 attackers struck the post on the border with Uzbekistan, located 60 kilometers southwest of Dushanbe in the Rudaki district. According to the KNB, the attackers came from neighboring Afghanistan.

The IS group did not confirm it was behind the overnight assault.

Fifteen "unknown armed masked" attackers were killed by return fire, while the remaining five attackers were captured, the KNB said.

During the attack, the unidentified persons captured five Kalashnikov assault rifles, it said.

Rudaki district

The Interior Ministry reported that four vehicles of the attack group were also destroyed.

The border post was manned by a unit of the Sultanabad border guard detachment.

RFE/RL correspondents were not allowed to approach the scene. All roads in the area were closed and armed checkpoints have been set up in other parts of the country, including in the capital, Dushanbe.

No further information was provided about the attackers and the names of the dead police officer and border guard.

The incident took place on Tajikistan's Constitution Day, a national holiday, and as President Emomali Rahmon was on an official trip to Europe accompanied by two dozen ministers until November 12.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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