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.

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

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.

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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.

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