At least 17 people died after Islamic State (IS) group militants attacked a checkpost on Tajikistan’s border with Uzbekistan, Tajik authorities said.
The 20 fighters launched their attack at 03:00 local time (22:00 GMT), killing a border guard and a police officer but losing 15 men in the ensuing firefight, they said.
IS has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Tajik authorities have also not provided any evidence for its claim of killing 15 and capturing 5 militants.
Police have closed roads in the area, while Uzbek border authorities are reportedly watching the situation.
Five of the militants were captured after the attack, which took place 60km (37 miles) south-west of the Tajik capital Dushanbe.
Photographs from the scene released by Tajikistan’s interior ministry show bodies – some badly burned – lying around a number of cars.
The state-run Khovar news agency said, without providing any evidence, that the attackers crossed into the country from Afghanistan on 3 November.
The attack came a day after Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reportedly agreed to settle a long-running border dispute, with the aim of signing a deal before the end of the year.
IS has claimed several attacks in Tajikistan in the past.
UPDATE – November 7th:
On Thursday, Afghan government denied that IS fighters from Afghanistan entered Tajikistan to carry out the attack.
#Afghanistan rejects #Tajikistan's claim that some #IS fighters crossed the border of #Afghanistan & carried the attack on a border outpost. Rohullah Ahmadzai DM spokesperson told @VOAPashto the fighters hidden inside #Tajikistan & #Tajikistan has no evidence 2support their case
— Jafar Haand (@jafarhaand) November 7, 2019
UPDATE – November 8th:
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Nov 6th attack targeting a check-post near Tajikistan-Uzbekistan border. IS also release group photo of its militants who carried out the attack. According to Amaq ‘news agency’, IS fighters killed 10 Tajik border guards and continued fighting until all the attackers were killed. Interestingly, IS statement did not attribute the attack to its Wilayah Khurasan franchise.
This story will be updated in case of new information.