A Tajik border officer has been killed in an armed skirmish that has taken place between Tajik border guards and armed Afghan drug traffickers along the Tajik-Afghan border in the Shamsiddin-Shohin (formerly Shouroobod) district of the Khatlon province.  

Major Sukhanvar Olimov was mortally wounded in an armed skirmish between Tajik border guards and a group of armed Afghan drug traffickers that took place in the Shamsiddin-Shohin district on January 4, an official source at the Tajik power-wielding structure told Asia-Plus today morning.

According to him, Major Olimov died on the road to a hospital.  

Recall, a group of armed Afghan drug dealers illegally crossed the border river on January 1 and kidnapped a 42-year-old shepherd Tourakhon Nourmatov, taking from his village of Sari Chashma.  

It is to be noted that Tajiks living near the border with Afghanistan are falling prey to drug dealers who are taking desperate measure to recover debts.  A number of Tajiks had been kidnapped by Afghan drug dealers in the previous years and held hostage until their families paid ransom money to clear debts. 

The Shamsiddin-Shohin district is the most vulnerable part of the Tajik border.  Its key location has made its residents an easy target of Afghan dealers looking for Tajiks to carry the drugs on to the next point of transit -- the capital Dushanbe, or even a location outside the country.