World

Turkmenistan shuffles top security officials as fighting flares in neighboring Afghanistan

Turkmenistan's president has reshuffled his top security officials as fighting flares again on the Central Asian nation's border with Afghanistan.

State media reported Tuesday that Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov appointed the head of the presidential guard service to take over the National Security Ministry, the successor body to the Soviet-era KGB.

The outgoing head of the National Security Ministry was in turn appointed defense minister.

The secretive former Soviet nation rarely reveals the motivation for such personnel changes, but the appointments took place amid reports of renewed fighting in Afghanistan's Faryab province, which borders Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan, a mainly Muslim and energy-rich country of 5 million people, rejects military alliances with other countries as part of its stated policy of neutrality.