Tajik soldier killed in Afghan border clash: source


DUSHANBE -- A soldier from Tajikistan's border service was killed in a clash with Afghan smugglers during a search for a missing shepherd, a security source in the ex-Soviet country told AFP Friday (January 4).

A source in Tajikistan's security services told AFP that the border service officer was killed during the hunt for a shepherd suspected kidnapped.

"A Tajik officer was killed in the clash," the security source said, noting the fighting took place along the porous border 180km (110 miles) southeast of Dushanbe.

The source also said 15kg of hashish and a machine gun were seized by Tajik servicemen following the clash.

The shepherd, who local media reports have said is 42 years old, was first reported missing on Tuesday (January 1).

Incidents on the border frequently include shootouts and kidnappings of Tajiks by Afghan smugglers who then swap them for arrested traffickers.

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