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Top U.S. Official Warns Of Islamic Extremist Threat To Southern Kyrgyzstan

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake
WASHINGTON -- Robert Blake, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, says Kyrgyzstan must be wary of attempts by Afghan Islamic militants to try to enter the fragile southern part of the country through its border with Tajikistan.

"There's, I think, particular concern about the southern border with Tajikistan, and the possibility that some militants from Afghanistan might try to come up through that border to try to exploit the situation in Kyrgyzstan," Blake said today at a hearing of U.S. Helsinki Commission.

Arslan Anarbaev, the interim head at the Kyrgyz embassy in Washington, D.C. added that “the South is very vulnerable to Islamic radicalism.”

Blake, who visited Kyrgyzstan last week, said that Russia would likely be “helping with some of the border security issues” for the Central Asian nation.