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Tajikistan To Base Army Unit In Afghan Border Region

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Defense Ministry expects to deploy a new military unit to the mountainous Saghirdasht region of eastern Tajikistan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported, citing a local official in Saghirdasht.

The Defense Ministry confirmed the deployment, saying the unit will be located at a disused military base from the period of the Tajik Civil War in the mid-1990s.

No details about the strength or nature of the unit have been made available, but the Saghirdasht official said preparations for the deployment have been completed.

Dushanbe sent troops to the region in May amid rumors of the possible return from Afghanistan of former opposition military commander Mullo Abdullo and his fighters to the region.

However, officials said the troops were sent to carry out counternarcotics operations.