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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Eight Tajik Rebels Shot By Russians

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Russian border guards killed eight Tajik rebels who tried to cross a river separating Tajikistan from Afghanistan, a news agency reported Wednesday.

After firing warning shots, the guards shot several times at rafts carrying about 20 rebels, destroying one raft and forcing survivors to retreat to the other side, Itar-Tass said.

The agency said the incident occurred Wednesday morning near Russia's 12th border post, which has seen numerous attempts by Tajik rebels to penetrate Tajikistan from Afghanistan.

The rebels are backed by Islamic mujahedin in Afghanistan, while Tajikistan's government troops have been supported by Russian forces, who help guard the tense border.

Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic, was beset by civil war in 1992-93. The fighting killed about 20,000 people and drove at least 500,000 from their homes.