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Tajik Officials Say Drug, Weapons Traffickers Busted

Tajik authorities say they have "neutralized" a transnational drug-trafficking group along the Tajik-Afghan border.

Tajikistan's State Committee for National Security said on August 4 that five smugglers were killed in a shootout along the border and some 330 kilograms of hashish and firearms were seized.

According to the committee, four armed groups of Afghan traffickers, which included more than 15 people, tried to illegally cross the border since last weekend, but their attempts were thwarted.

No casualties among Tajik border guards were reported.

The groups were involved in illegal drugs and arms trafficking to Central Asian states and Russia, the committee officials said.

Since January, Tajik border guards say they have thwarted 18 attempts by Afghan smugglers to cross the border.

Eleven traffickers have been killed and more than 650 kilograms of drugs -- including 46 kilograms of heroin -- have been seized.

Based on reporting by RIA and Interfax