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Warduj, a ticking Central Asian time bomb?

    Warduj, a ticking Central Asian time bomb?

    Since the summer of 2012, Afghanistan’s northern Warduj District made its name in Central Asian media reports with an ominous build-up of members of terrorist organizations – al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Jamaat Ansarullah and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

    Warnings of their infiltration north from Badakhshan Province into Tajikistan and beyond appeared to be substantiated by heavy fighting and new intelligence. And with the looming 2014 withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, pressure is growing to keep the lid on Warduj. 

    Doubling up in defence of the frontier: Tajik and Afghan border guards participate in an OSCE joint alpine training course in Gissar, Tajikistan. (Photo: OSCE/David Balan)

    For Afghanistan, it began with the assassination in July 2012 of Sayfullah Sediqi, governor of the Shughnan District in Badakhshan Province. Ambushed by initially unidentified militants, the official died and several people in his convoy were injured in a panoramic border region hitherto untouched by violence wracking the country.  

    The gunmen fled but the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) later claimed responsibility. Hurried top-level consultations ensued in Afghanistan and Tajikistan to determine the significance of this event, which immediately followed deployment of Tajik security forces against armed anti-government forces around the border city of Khorog.

    Suddenly, it seemed like a network was emerging and had taken authorities on both sides of the border by surprise.

    “Tajikistan citizens are also observed among Taliban based in Warduj,” said Badakhshan’s governor, Shah Waliullah Adib. “According to the intelligence department of Badakhshan Province, nine Tajik citizens and several citizens of Uzbekistan and the Russian republic of Chechnya are active among the Taliban based in Warduj.” 

    “There are Uzbeks and Tajik fighters in Warduj district and their presence could affect the security in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan," added the commander of border police forces in Badakhshan, Col. Amanullah, while warning against alarmism, saying the cross-border effect of these forces was still limited.


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    برچسب ها : warduj ,border ,forces ,tajikistan ,badakhshan ,uzbekistan ,badakhshan province ,taliban based ,islamic movement ,warduj district ,central asian ,
    Warduj, a ticking Central Asian time bomb?

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