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Dushanbe Probing Claim Taliban Tanks Being Repaired In Tajikistan


An Afghan man inspects a house destroyed during clashes between Afghan security forces and Taliban in Kunduz in November 2016.

An Afghan man inspects a house destroyed during clashes between Afghan security forces and Taliban in Kunduz in November 2016.

Tajik authorities are looking into claims by an Afghan official that Taliban heavy weapons are being repaired by Russian engineers in Tajikistan.

Muhammadjon Ulughkhojaev, a spokesman for Tajikistan’s border guard agency, said on January 2 that the allegations are "baseless."

But he added he is unaware of all details of the allegations.

Ulughkhojaev said the border guard agency “has been looking into the claim,” will study the Afghan media reports, and will report on the results of their investigation.

Last month, a former governor of northern Afghanistan's Kunduz Province was quoted by Afghan media as saying that military vehicles and other weapons seized by Taliban militants from the Afghan Army were being sent to Tajikistan for repairs.

Muhammad Omar Safi (left) claims that cooperation between the Afghan Taliban and the Russian military has been going on for nearly two years.

Muhammad Omar Safi (left) claims that cooperation between the Afghan Taliban and the Russian military has been going on for nearly two years.

Muhammad Omar Safi reportedly alleged that the vehicles and weapons had been repaired by Russian military engineers based in Tajikistan before being returned to the Taliban.

Safi claimed that such cooperation between the Afghan Taliban and the Russian military has been going on for nearly two years.

Some 7,000 Russian troops are stationed in Tajikistan.

In recent months, Afghan officials have voiced concern over what they described as Russian aid to the Taliban.

In early December, Afghan lawmakers said they planned to investigate reports about alleged seizures of Russian-made weapons destined for the Taliban.

Russia denies providing aid to the Sunni extremist militant group.

Reporting by RFE/RL's Tajik Service

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