The State Committee for National Security (SCNS) denies reports released by some media outlets about closure of border crossing points along Tajikistan’s common with Afghanistan and five bridges cross the Panj River as ‘unfounded’.

“Border crossing points along the Tajik-Afghan-border and bridges across the border river of Panj operate as usual and nobody closed them,” Mohammad Ulughkhojayev, a spokesman for the SCNS, told Asia-Plus today morning.

Citing unnamed source in the administration of the Khatlon province, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported yesterday that the Tajik authorities have closed one of border crossing points along the Tajik-Afghan border and five bridges across the Panj River.  

A large stretch of Tajikistan’s common border from the Shamsiddin-Shohin district in the Khatlon province to the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) has been temporarily closed for security reasons, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service said.  

Ahmad Faisal Beszad, governor of Afghan Badakhshan province, confirmed the closure of the Tajik-Afghan border and told RFE/RL that they are currently conducting negotiations with Tajikistan on opening the border.  “It is important for residents of the province.  Because of heavy snowfalls in this time of year it is practically impossible to get the central part of Afghanistan.  Usually, in autumn and winter we purchase foodstuffs only in Tajikistan,” the governor said.  

Recall, one Tajik border guard was killed and four others were wounded in clashes with armed Afghan drug traffickers attempting to illegally cross the border river in the Shamsiddin-Shohin district in the evening of December 2.  

The incident took place in the area patrolled by the “Bahorak” frontier post of the “Shouroobod” border unit.

Commander of the border unit, Colonel Khairiddin Akhtamov, and three trespassers were killed, while four Tajik border guards were wounded in the shootout.

The wounded border guards are currently undergoing medical treatment in a hospital. 

Tajik border guards reportedly found 4 Kalashnikov assault rifles and more than 33 kilograms of narcotics on the spot.

The Tajik side has sent a note to the Afghan authorities demanding relevant Afghan structures thoroughly investigate the incident and take measures to detain the criminals.