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Russia Border Guard Killed on the Tajik Border - 2002-09-05


A Russian border guard has been killed and another wounded in a clash with a group of armed Afghan drug traffickers trying to cross into Tajikistan.

A spokesman for the patrol said the shootout lasted for nearly an hour early today (Thursday) in a mountainous border area, some 300 kilometers south of the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

After the gunfight, the gunmen split into three groups and fled, leaving behind two kilograms of heroin and numerous cartridge cases.

The border guard press service also reports that an additional 39 kilograms of heroin were found today on another section of the Tajik - Afghan border.

Tajikistan is a major trafficking route for illegal drugs entering Russian and western Europe from Afghanistan.

Under an agreement with Dushanbe, Russia keeps more than 20-thousand troops in Tajikistan to help guard the border with Afghanistan against arms and drug smugglers and to block the movement of Islamic extremists.

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