The Main Border Guard Directorate at the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan (SCNS), commenting on the recent incident at the Afghan-Tajik border and the claim by the Islamic State (IS) terror group that militants from its affiliate active in Afghanistan, the Islamic State Khurasan Province or ISKP, fired several rockets into Tajikistan, states that only bullets were shot across the border during fighting between Taliban forces and ISKP fighters in Afghanistan Takhar province.

Tajik state-run news agency Khovar says the Main Border Guard Directorate asserted that a gunfight that took place between the Taliban and ISKP militants in Khoja Ghor district on the border, opposite the Tajik area patrolled by the Panj border, on May 7 lasted around 90 minutes and that some projectiles had been incidentally fired across the border.

Meanwhile Afghan media reports say ISKP has claimed launching attack from Afghan soil into Tajikistan.     

The Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news agency quoted an IS press release claiming on May 7 that its militants had fired seven rockets into Tajikistan and that they were targeting the country’s armed forces. They claimed that they fired the rockets from a launcher mounted on a vehicle and that border guards opened fire after they carried out their strike, but that they managed to escape.

Pajhwok Afghan News, citing an Afghan official, reported on May 9 that efforts are being made to arrest perpetrators of a rocket attack from Afghanistan into Tajikistan.  

On April 18, IS reportedly launched a rocket attack on Uzbekistan from Afghan soil, the first such bombardment of a Central Asian nation by the group.  The ISKP claimed that it had fired multiple rockets at a military unit near the southern Uzbekistan city of Termez.  Uzbek officials, however, denied any rockets had landed on its territory, but representatives of the Taliban regime later confirmed that an attack had occurred.

The Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP) is an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) terror group active in South Asia and Central Asia.  Some media sources also use the terms ISK (or IS–K), ISISK (or ISIS–K), IS–KP, Daesh–Khorasan or Daesh–K in referring to the group.  ISKP has been active in Afghanistan and its area of operations includes Pakistan, and Tajikistan where they claimed attacks, as well as Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh and China where individuals have pledged allegiance to it. The ISKP and Taliban consider each other enemies.

The group was created in January 2015 by disaffected Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, although its membership includes individuals from various countries notably Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Myanmar.  Its initial leaders, Hafiz Saeed Khan and Abdul Rauf Aliza, were killed by US forces in July 2016 and February 2015, respectively.  Subsequent leaders have also been killed; its leader Abdullah Orokzai was captured in April 2020 by Afghanistan's intelligence service.

ISKP has conducted numerous high-profile attacks against civilians mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  In July 2018, ISKP bombings killed 149 in Mastung, Pakistan.  In May 2021, an ISKP bombing killed 90 in Kabul.  In August 2021, ISKP killed 13 American military personnel and at least 169 Afghans during the U.S. evacuation of Kabul, which marked the highest number of U.S. military deaths in an attack in Afghanistan since 2011.