Tajik defense ministry denies a report released by an Afghan news agency that Tajikistan has allegedly launched air strikes in Afghan territory as absolutely ‘baseless’.

“We do not have the right to launch air strikes against other countries without consultations with our Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) allies.  Even if such a necessity occurs, the CSTO staff convenes a meeting to discuss the issue of necessity of launching the strike.  Only after long consultations of defense ministries of the CSTO member nations such a decision can be adopted,” an official source at the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of Tajikistan told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s news agency Khaama Press, citing officials from Afghanistan’s Takhar province, reported today morning that Tajikistan’s warplanes have launched airstrikes in Darqad district in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.

The airstrike was reportedly launched today morning hours after a clash broke out between the Tajik border guards and suspected drug smugglers.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Jawid Hejri confirmed the incident but did not elaborate further, according to Khaama Press.

Khaama Press added that local official said a clash took place between the Tajik border guards and drug smugglers in the late afternoon on Sunday, leaving two Tajik guards dead.

Recall, two Tajik nationals were killed and one other wounded on August 26 as their vehicle was fired upon from across the border.

A source at the Tajik law enforcement authorities says the incident took place in the Farkhor district, the Khatlon province, in the area between the 3rd and 4th frontier outposts of the Hamadoni border.

“Three residents of the Farkhor district were going by NIVA (Russian jeep) when they came under fire from Afghan territory.  As a result of the firing, Amirkhon Saidov, 53, and Davlat Sangakov, 50, were killed while Safarkhon Rahmatov was wounded,” the source said.

The Farkhor district in Tajikistan’s Khatlon province borders the Darkad district in Afghanistan’s Takhar province. 

Tajik law enforcement authorities have launched investigation into the August 26 border incident.  

Recall, the Taliban militants have overrun the Ai Khanum dry port in Takhar province recently, killing more than 10 Afghan border guards.  

Tajikistan has a nearly 1,400-kilometer common border with Afghanistan.  Recall, Tajik border service chief Rajabali Rahmonali warned in early May this year that up to 7,000 Taliban militants were believed to be scattered along the Afghan-Tajik border. Speaking at the ceremony dedicated to the 15th anniversary of implementation of the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA), Rahonali noted in Dushanbe on May 2 that the Taliban Movement has deployed 6,825 militants along Afghanistan’s common border with Tajikistan.