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Officials in Kyrgyzstan Suggest Islamic Militant Group Is Active Again

Law-enforcement authorities in Kyrgyzstan suggest that two men detained in connection with a recent bombing may have ties to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an insurgent group that has been long been dormant. Pro-government media outlets have warned that Islamic radical groups are targeting Kyrgyzstan for terror attacks, but some political observers believe the threat may be exaggerated.

The May 8 bombing at a currency exchange office in the southern city of Osh killed one employee. At a May 12 news conference, Deputy Interior Minister Rasulberdi Raimberdiev, without referring to any specific group by name, inferred that two men arrested on suspicion of involvement in the blast had ties to the IMU, which carried out incursions in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 1999 and 2000. Raimberdiev also linked the duo to a December explosion at a Bishkek market that left seven dead.

Also on May 12, Kyrgyz officials announced that six suspected members of the underground Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir had been detained in Osh reportedly caught in the act of distributing anti-government leaflets.

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Alisher Khamidov is a Muskie Fellow at Joan B. Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University.

Officials in Kyrgyzstan Suggest Islamic Militant Group Is Active Again

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