A joint operation, involving the border services of every Central Asian state except Turkmenistan, is underway. The operation aims to enhance security along Central Asia's southern frontier in response to the rise of Islamic militant activity in northern Afghanistan.
Operation "Milestones of the Fatherland-2009" is bringing together border troops from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Its stated purpose is to "suppress the infiltration [. . . ] of weapons, ammunition, narcotics and illegal migrants, as well as detect and suppress the activities of criminal groups and organizations engaged in illegal activities," according to a press release from the Kyrgyz Border Service.
A spokeswoman for the Border Service told EurasiaNet on September 15 details of the operation were being kept confidential until after it concludes on September 20.
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Deirdre Tynan is a freelance journalist who specializes in Central Asian affairs.