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CSTO forces, Tajik reservists to fight Taliban, IS

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Dushanbe : The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) forces and the reservists in Tajikistan’s southern regions will jointly combat the Taliban and the Islamic State (IS) militants, a Tajik expert said on Monday.

The volatile situation in northern Afghanistan could negatively affect Tajikistan and Central Asia as a whole, Hudoberdi Holiqnazarov, director of Tajikistan’s Centre for Strategic Studies, said at a press conference here.

Holiqnazarov said a number of communities in the northern Afghan provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar have been taken by the Taliban, Xinhua news agency reported.

“At the beginning of 2014, there were 800 Taliban militants in the northern Afghan provinces, but now the number of armed men has reached 8,000,” Holiqnazarov said.

He said Afghanistan has also been infiltrated by IS militants.

“The IS allocated $700 million to create its arm in Afghanistan. These negative factors could change the situation in Tajikistan and Central Asia.”

Holiqnazarov said the positive side of these events was that the Taliban did not recognize the IS group and clashes occur between them.

“Let them beat each other, as they are our enemies.”

Founded in 1992 within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the CSTO currently has six members — Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan — with Afghanistan and Serbia as observers.

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