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Russia, Tajikistan Troops Hold Military Exercises Near Afghanistan Border

Russia and Tajikistan held military exercises at the Kharb-Maidon training ground in Tajikistan, 20 Km from the border with Afghanistan, that will continue till April 7, Officials said on Monday.

At the Kharb-Maidon training facility in Tajikistan, 20 kilometres from the Afghan border, military contingents from Russia and Tajikistan began joint drills that will last through April 7, according to a Monday press release from the Central Military District of Russia, TASS News Agency reported.

“During the practical stages, the military contingents from Russia and Tajikistan will practice preparing and carrying out a joint operation on mountainous terrain to eliminate outlawed armed gangs intruding into the territory of an allied state and also exercising command and control of joint forces in blocking and destroying an illegal armed formation,” according to the press office.

According to the press office, the majority of the Russian military contingent taking part in the exercises is made up of the Central Military District’sDistrict’s mobile electronic warfare groups, armoured, artillery, radiation, chemical, and biological protection troops, and motor rifle units, all of which total more than 300 personnel.

Russia’s most extensive military base is stationed in the cities of Dushanbe and Bokhtar, and according to the agreement signed in October 2012, the military bases in Tajikistan will remain through 2042.

The military manoeuvre came after the security concerns expressed by the Russian envoy and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Chief on Friday, saying that an increased risk of terrorist groups’ infiltration from Afghanistan threatens the security of the organization’s member countries.

“There is an increasing risk that terrorist groups and extremist ideas will infiltrate the territories of our CSTO allies. Complex threats from Afghanistan are of particular concern,” the CSTO chief said.

The Russian and Central Asian countries reiterated their concerns over the security threats and risks emanating from Afghanistan and stressed watching the situation in Afghanistan closely.

Since the return of the de facto government in Afghanistan, Russia’s bloc expressed their security concerns about ISIS militants in the country, including “terrorism, illegal arms, drug trafficking, illegal migration and the spread of extremist ideology,” according to Russian officials.

However, the Afghan authorities claim that the Taliban forces destroyed the ISIS group and will not allow anyone to utilize Afghanistan territory against neighbouring nations.

Source : Khaama