Border guards foil drug smuggling attempt

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The Independent Online

Russian border guards have foiled a drug smuggling attempt across Afghanistan's border with Tajikistan, confiscating about 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of heroin and arresting one man.

Russian border guards have foiled a drug smuggling attempt across Afghanistan's border with Tajikistan, confiscating about 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of heroin and arresting one man, the guard's press service said.

A patrol spotted three men in the rugged border region early today and ordered them to stop, but the men opened fire and then ran away, a spokesman with the Russian border guards press service said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

The guards caught one of the smugglers and found packets of heroin and a hand grenade at the scene, he said.

About 25,000 troops under Russian control help Tajikistan patrol the former Soviet border and regularly make drug seizures. The country is the first step on a lengthy smuggling route for drugs leading from neighboring Afghanistan, where the opium poppies that provide the raw material for heroin are grown almost openly, to markets in Russian and Western Europe.

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