17 killed in overnight assault at Tajikistan military outpost, ISIS blamed

20 masked assailants attacked Tajikistan's military checkpost at its border with neighbouring Uzbekistan

Tajikistan's Border with Uzbekistan

In an overnight attack, 20 masked assailants attacked Tajikistan's army checkpost at its border with the neighbouring Uzbekistan. In the firefight that followed, 17 died, including a border guard and a police officer. The remaining 15 were among the 20 attackers. The border guard service in a statement has claimed that the attack was led by Islamic State, that has claimed a number of attacks in the country recently though ISIS hasn't claimed the responsibility so far.

The attack took place 50 km south-west of the capital Dushanbe, Tajikistan's National Security Committee said. The Interior ministry released pictures of badly burned bodies of 3 men in black military style outfits lying on the ground, next to a wrecked car. The assailants came on November 3, from the neighbouring Afghanistan, the state-run Khovar news agency claimed. The attack comes a day after Tajikistan signed an agreement with Uzbekistan resolving boundary dispute.

The central Asian nation is sensitive to militant attacks as it shares a long porous border with conflict ridden Afghanistan, ISIS's stronghold outside middle-east. ISIS has in the past claimed responsibility for a number of attacks. The most recent being the killing of 4 western cyclists last year and the prison riot in May this year that killed 32, with 24 of them alleged to be ISIS militants.

In September 2014, Uzbek Islamic Movement leader Usman Gazi declared that they "are in the same ranks with the Islamic State in this continued war between Islam and [non-Muslims]." In 2016, reports said that a new faction of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan emerged after the group became part of Islamic State that retained the group's name but remained independent of Islamic State. It has also indicated that it is loyal to al-Qaeda and the Taliban and shared their views against Islaimc State.