Tajikistan: 15 Islamists, civilians `killed in operation`
Dushanbe: Military strikes against presumed Islamist fighters that killed a Tajik rebel leader also had civilian casualties, and the toll could rise to 15 as the operation continues, officials said on Saturday.
"Rebel chief Abdullo Mullo is among the dead. The number of killed militants could reach 15" as the military continues picking up the bodies in the remote Rasht valley after artillery and air strikes earlier this week, Interior Ministry spokesman said.
According to Tajik authorities, Mullo has links with the Taliban and al Qaeda.
"During the operation, militants killed two civilians, and one Tajik soldier was wounded," the spokesman said.
The ministry said Mullo was responsible for an attack on a military convoy in east Afghanistan that killed 25 people in September last year. And in July 1998, he allegedly organised an attack on a UN convoy in which a Japanese, an Uruguayan and a Pole were killed.
Tajikistan, a majority-Muslim country and the poorest state to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union, has in recent years been wracked by violence blamed on Islamist militants, after a 1997 peace accorded ended a civil war that had claimed 150,000 lives.
Police have linked various attacks to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a militant group affiliated with al Qaeda, and Hizb ut-Tahrir -- an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that was founded in the Middle East.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- There will be earthquake if I speak on demonetisation: Rahul Gandhi
- Opposition observes 'black day' to mark one month of demonetisation
- Zee Media Exclusive: A reality check on public opinion on notes ban!
- Panel discussion on the decision of demonetisation
- Watch shocking visuals - Speeding car rams pedestrians in Kolkata, 3 killed
- Mongolia seeks India's financial aid, Chinese official media says it's 'insane'
- SC asks govt if demonetisation was confidential; to judge if policy unconstitutional
- Reliance Jio effect: Airtel offers free unlimited local and STD calls with 4G data at Rs 145
- OMG! Man punches Kangaroo in face to save dog – Watch video
- PM Narendra Modi ropes in Nandan Nilekani to boost process of digital payments post demonetisation