At least 17 killed in attack near Tajikistan's border with Uzbekistan

Tajikistan said on Wednesday Daesh terrorists who crossed the border from Afghanistan were behind a clash with security forces that left at least 17 people dead, SIA reports referring to foreign media.

"All (of them) are members of the so-called terrorist group 'Islamic State' [Daesh]", the border guard service said in a statement.Tajik security forces killed 15 assailants when their armed gang attacked a checkpoint on the border with Uzbekistan earlier, officials said, adding that a soldier and a policeman also died in the clash."As a result of an operation conducted by law-enforcement forces, 15 members of an armed criminal group were neutralised and four more attackers detained," the country's interior ministry said.The country's border guards said separately that five attackers had been detained.

The clashes outside the capital Dushanbe broke out as the country prepared to celebrate Constitution Day on Wednesday and the country's long-serving President Emomali Rakhmon was on a visit to Switzerland.Rakhmon is expected to visit Paris later this week to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron as part of a rare European visit that will also take in the Czech Republic.

The armed gang of around 20 masked people attacked the Ishkobod border post located some 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of the Tajikistan capital after 2200 GMT (3 am local time), the interior ministry said.It released pictures of several bodies lying next to burnt-out vehicles at the scene of the clash.

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