MOSCOW (AP) — Security officials in Tajikistan said on Monday that two people have been killed and one injured after men stormed the border from Afghanistan.
Tajik Border Guards said in a statement that they are looking for a group of 10 to 12 armed men who crossed the Panj River separating the country from Afghanistan on Sunday. The men, armed with a hand-held grenade launcher and automatic rifles opened fire on three forest rangers, killing two of them and injuring one.
Tajikistan has a long, porous border with Afghanistan, and the area across the Panj is currently under Taliban control.
The incident comes a week before Moscow hosts a Taliban delegation for Afghanistan talks.
Russia’s Defense Ministry later on Monday denied reports that it carried out airstrikes on nearby Taliban-controlled territory in retaliation.
Officials in Russia and Tajikistan have long been worried about a potential spillover of militant activities from Afghanistan. The chief of Tajikistan’s Border Guard Forces earlier this year raised the alarm about an estimated 7,000 Afghan militants roaming the border area.