Militants, some of whom may have been involved in a massive prison break in late August, are being blamed for a raid that left at least 23 Tajik soldiers dead. The attack marks the boldest in a string of recent incidents that is posing a serious security challenge for President Imomali Rahmon’s administration.
Using small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, militants ambushed a military convoy on September 19 in the Rasht Valley, about 150 miles south of the capital Dushanbe. The region has been the scene of growing militant activity over the past year or so. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].
Many of the approximately 80 government soldiers who were traveling in the convoy were seriously wounded, meaning the death toll could rise.
“This terrorist act, according to the information we have, was committed by Abdullo Rakhimov, or Mullo Abdullo,” Faridun Makhmadaliyev, head of the Defense Ministry’s press service, told EurasiaNet.org. “His group consists of militants who are mainly citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Chechnya.”
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