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Tajikistan Identifies Border Guards Abducted By Afghans

File photo of Afghans crossing a newly built border bridge over the Pyanj River into the Tajik town of Lower Pyanj.

QURGHONTEPPA, Tajikistan -- Officials in Tajikistan have made public the identities of four Tajik border guards who were reported abducted by an unidentified group based in Afghanistan last month.

The prosecutor general's office in the southern Khatlon region, in a statement on January 8, confirmed earlier reports that four Tajiks had been abducted by Afghans in December.

It said they were border guards Farhod Qalonov, 19, Siroj Davlatov, 23, Tuichiboi Nurboev, 19, and Mehroj Shodiev, 20.

The statement says the commander of their military unit, Alimuhammad Dodoqalonov, had been held responsible for the incident and charged with negligence.

Tajikstan's senior border guard commander, General Rajabali Rahmonali, told RFE/RL on January 5 that the four men would be released "in the nearest future."

He rejected reports saying that the abductors had demanded a $9 million ransom.