Russia and Tajikistan have begun large-scale military drills close to the Central Asian state's border with Afghanistan (Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/File)

Russian Soldiers Begin Drills Near Afghan Border

Thousands of troops from Russia and the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan recently participated in joint military exercises along the Afghanistan border to prepare against possible spillover violence from the northern Afghan provinces where the Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) are fueling deteriorating security conditions, Khaama Press (KP) reports Thursday.

There are about 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan with a mission to advise and assist the Afghan military but also to fight extremist groups like Al-Qaeda or IS

Report: Taliban Using Captured U.S. Weapons Against Afghan Troops

The Taliban in the northern Afghan province of Badakhshan are increasingly capturing weapons and other military equipment, including armored vehicles, from U.S.-trained and equipped Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and using them against the troops.

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Report: ISIS Groups Join Afghan Taliban

Jihadists linked to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) have joined the ranks of the Taliban in Afghanistan, a source at Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security (SCNS) told the Russian state-owned TASS news agency.

NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images

World View: Refugee Crisis: Turkey Ridicules Europe as Hungary Closes Croatia Border

Contents: Russian troops may take control of Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan; European Union agrees to terms in exchange for Turkey’s help with refugees; Hungary closes the border with Croatia; Polls show British voters more willing to leave European Union; Turkey’s president Erdogan ridicules Europe over refugee crisis

Russian Military Exercises AFP

Report: Russian Military May Return to Afghanistan Border

Russia may redeploy military troops to Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan in response to the deteriorating security situation afflicting the Afghan people less than a year since President Obama declared an end to the U.S. combat mission.

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Surprise! Man Fined for Celebrating Birthday in Tajikistan

A man in Tajikistan has been fined the equivalent of four months’ wages after breaking the country’s law against holding birthday parties in public. Amirbek Isayev was fined 4,000 somonis (£400/$600) for celebrating his 25th birthday at a bar with

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Tajikistan Considers Banning Arabic Names to Hold Islam at Bay

Tajikistan’s curious anti-Islam campaign has already seen the government cracking down on beards and hijabs, the traditional female garment in Muslim culture. They have also asked imams to include praise for the secular government in their sermons and applied travel restrictions to Muslim citizens seeking to make the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The beard ban has reportedly been taken as far as the forcible shaving of illegally luxurious facial hair by security forces.