Two Tajik border guards killed on border with Afghanistan

Two Tajik border guards were killed by land mines along the border with Afghanistan, a government official said Thursday. The blast occurred Wednesday about 300 kilometers (190 miles) southeast of the capital Dushanbe, said Sabza Sarkorov, deputy chairman of the Border Protection Committee. The two were injured and died later in a hospital, he said.

Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan was mined in the 1990s during a five-year civil war, partially in an attempt to keep out Islamic militants. Thousands of mines remain scattered around the poor Central Asian nation.

According to a Tajik activist organization, at least 75 people have been killed and 79 wounded by mines since 2000.

Tajik border guards recently resumed full patrols along the border, after thousands of Russian border guards who were helping withdrew last year.

The country has also become a major conduit for drugs being smuggled from Afghanistan en route to Russia and Europe, reports the AP. I.L.

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