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Afghan Would-Be Refugee Said Killed By Taliban Near Tajik Border

Taliban fighters in Badakhshan. The militants have been stepping up raids in the province near the Tajik border in an attempt to capture Afghans trying to flee the country.

Taliban fighters have reportedly killed an Afghan man who tried to flee to neighboring Tajikistan and detained another man along the Afghan-Tajik border.

A source in the city of Ishkashim in Afghanistan's northern province of Badakhshan, which borders Tajikistan, told RFE/RL on October 3 that the incidents occurred the previous day, when Taliban militants raided the area in an attempt to force about 2,000 Afghans seeking to leave the war-torn country to go back to their homes.

The Taliban-led administration in Badakhshan did not immediately comment.

Many Afghans have left the country and thousands have been trying to leave after the hard-line Islamist group seized control of most of Afghanistan in August.

The Taliban takeover triggered alarm among Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan over possible security threats emanating from the country and the potential for tens of thousands of refugees to pour over the border.

Would-be refugees along the Afghan-Tajik border in Badakhshan say they have been stranded there for two months, with Tajikistan’s border guards not allowing them to enter the Central Asian country.

"The militants gather people in groups and force them to return to Kabul on trucks. The militants are searching for natives of the Panjshir area mainly," one of the men seeking to flee to Tajikistan told RFE/RL.

In mostly ethnic Tajik-populated Panjshir, a rugged mountain valley northeast of Kabul, an anti-Taliban resistance front remains active.