Dushanbe (Tajikistan): Police in Tajikistan arrested 10 people suspected of planning a series of attacks to destabilise the country ahead of the presidential polls this year, an official said on Saturday.
The suspects, mostly young men who "received training in Pakistan", were seized and disarmed in the capital of Dushanbe, a representative of the Tajikistan interior ministry told a news agency.
"They were preparing a series of blasts on government facilities in four districts of Dushanbe... A hostage siege, and subsequently the presentation of ultimatums to the authorities during the presidential elections," the official said.
The suspected militants are Tajik nationals and have received training in Waziristan, a region bordering Afghanistan known as a stronghold of Islamists linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Police said they have arrested the leader of the militant group, who is also the suspected organiser of a 2010 attack on a Dushanbe night club, where a bomb blast injured seven people.
President Emomali Rakhmon, who has headed the country since 1992, last month called presidential elections for November. He is widely expected to win.
Tajikistan, where a bloody civil war between Islamist forces and Rakhmon backers followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, shares a porous 1,300-kilometre border with Afghanistan.
The impoverished former Soviet republic has previously accused religious groups of stoking unrest in a bid to impose Islamic rule.