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Tajikistan claims having killed renegade ex-minister

Posted in World

Published on September 18, 2015 with No Comments

Security forces in Tajikistan said they had tracked down and killed the country’s former deputy defence minister who had been charged with high treason after dozens of people were killed in gun battles earlier this month.

The killing of General Abdukhalim Nazarzoda, a member of the country’s government until as recently as September 4, risks stoking fresh tension in the unstable ex-Soviet state where tensions between the government and Islamist politicians are on the rise.

Gunmen loyal to Nazarzoda clashed with government forces in circumstances that have not been fully explained earlier this month. Nine police officers and 13 rebels were killed at the time. Police said Nazarzoda and 11 of his supporters had been killed in a special operation in Ramit Gorge east of the Tajik capital Dushanbe. Four government officers had also been killed, it said.

Any signs of instability in Tajikistan are a source of concern to Russia and the United States, who fear militant Islam could take root there because of its proximity to Afghanistan, although there has been limited evidence of that so far.

 

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