The border closure and seizure of Tajik trucks are one of signs of growing hostilities between the Central Asian nation and Afghanistan’s hard-line rulers.

Recall, dozens of Tajik truck drivers who carried coal to Afghanistan earlier this month were prevented from crossing back into Tajikistan after the Taliban closed the border on May 10.  The Taliban allowed some of them to cross the border after seizing their vehicles.

Meanwhile Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service cited one of the drivers, Dilshod, as saying that many Tajik truck drivers have been stranded for over a week at Shir Khan Bandar, a river port along Afghanistan's northeastern border with Tajikistan.

"We are not free to go anywhere,” Dilshod told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, adding that the Taliban had ordered the men not to leave their vehicles.  Dilshod said that around 100 Tajik trucks were stranded at the remote border crossing.

Tajikistan was the only neighboring country to publicly oppose the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan in August last year, calling the militant group a threat to regional stability.  There have also been reports that Dushanbe is hosting or in contact with some of the leaders of the National Resistance Front (NRF), an anti-Taliban resistance group that is largely made up of ethnic Tajiks from Afghanistan.

Tajikistan has denied the claim.

Following the Taliban takeover, Tajikistan has conducted military drills near its 1,300-kilometer border with Afghanistan alongside troops from member nations of the Collective Security Organization (CSTO).

The Taliban has stationed an estimated 4,000 fighters along its border with Central Asia.  Taliban officials insisted the move would contribute to regional stability. But Afghanistan’s northern neighbors have expressed skepticism.

RFE/RL says the Taliban also deployed battalions of suicide bombers known as Lashkar-e Mansoori in Afghanistan’s northeastern provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar, adding to anxieties in Tajikistan.

The two provinces are home to hundreds of militants from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and other countries who have fought alongside the Taliban for many years.

For years, the Taliban has reportedly sheltered and even embedded members of Jamaat Ansarullah, a Tajik Islamist militant group opposed to Dushanbe, in its ranks.  Weeks after seizing power, the Taliban reportedly deployed Ansarullah fighters to the Tajik border.

Some Tajik militants residing in Afghanistan are members of the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) extremist group, a rival of the Taliban that recently claimed to have launched a rocket attack against Tajikistan.

There have been fears in Central Asian capitals that the militants might want to infiltrate their home countries.

Dushanbe has not established ties with the Taliban-led government, which is not recognized by any country.  Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has repeatedly called on the Taliban to form an inclusive government in Kabul that includes ethnic Tajiks.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, reportedly said the group would normalize relations and open the border with Tajikistan once the sides had reached a formal understanding over bilateral issues.

“We have made this [demand] clear in our bilateral meetings,” he told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan.