Russian border guards patrolling Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan have killed nine drug smugglers and seized at least 200 kilograms of heroin and other drugs in two separate incidents.
A spokesman for the guards said the first incident occurred around midnight Thursday. The guards spotted five armed men crossing the Pyandzh River and killed them in a shootout. The group was carrying 150 kilograms of drugs.
In a second incident further along the border, Russian guards shot and killed four more Afghan infiltrators and recovered 46 kilograms of drugs, including 39 kilograms of heroin.
Russian troops help Tajikistan patrol its border with Afghanistan. Tajikistan has become a major trafficking route for illegal drugs entering Russia and western Europe from Afghanistan.