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Afghan Villagers Threaten To Attack Turkmenistan

Villagers in Afghanistan's northern Jowzjan Province claim Turkmenistan is stealing their agricultural land and are threatening to attack Turkmen border guards.

Muhammad Sahi Yhsan, the chief of the Qarqeen District told RFE/RL on December 17, villagers came to him to complain about Turkmen border guards setting up posts that according to the villagers, are some 30 to 35 kilometers deep into Afghan territory.

The Afghan villagers, who are mostly ethnic Turkmen, said the land being seized is valuable agricultural land and without it they cannot grow crops or feed their herds.

Yhsan said the villagers threatened to attack Turkmen border guards unless Afghan authorities can resolve their problem.

The Afghan Turkmen in Qarqeen have paramilitary forces who fight against the Taliban and the Taliban's allies in the region.

Jowzjan Deputy Governor Abdurahmon Mahmudi confirmed to RFE/RL that Turkmen border guards have been advancing state borders into Afghanistan in several places in Jowzjan Province.