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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rebels Kill Russian Soldier on Tajik Border

One Russian border guard was killed, two others injured and several soldiers were briefly held captives by Moslem fighters in Tajikistan, officials said Thursday.


The incident occurred near the town of Khorugh in the Pamir Mountains on the border with Afghanistan on Wednesday, when local militants attacked a border guards outpost, said Valentin Malyutin, a spokesman for the Russian Border Guards in Moscow.


They also captured two Russian border guards and 11 Tajik soldiers, whom they released on Thursday after the border guards threatened to free them by force, Malyutin said.


Russia has helped Tajikistan's government to protect the border with Afghanistan from continuous attacks by Moslem militants, who have bases there.


The government defeated a loose coalition of Islamic fundamentalists and democrats in a bloody 1992 civil war, which claimed over 20,000 lives.


Fighting has abated since then, but the Moslem rebels, backed by fellow militants from Afghanistan, have continued frequent hit-and-run attacks on Russian border guards and Tajik government troops.


In one recent assault last month, the rebels captured 50 government soldiers and apparently have taken them across the border to Afghanistan.