Dushanbe: Government forces in Tajikistan
killed three Islamist militants on Friday amid fresh fighting in a
volatile region near the border with Afghanistan, a Tajik
military official told a news agency.
Thousands of troops have surged into the remote Rasht
Valley region near the Afghan border as part of a manhunt for
militants believed responsible for a string of deadly attacks
throughout the Central Asian state in recent weeks.
"Three fighters have been killed," a Tajik military
official told a news agency under condition of anonymity.
"Their identity has not yet been established but these
fighters are from local terrorist organisations."
Tajikistan, a majority-Muslim country and the poorest
state to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly
two decades ago, has suffered a string of attacks recently
that the government blames on Islamist militants.
The country`s deadliest attack this year occurred Sunday
when insurgents ambushed a military convoy in the Rasht
Valley, a mountainous region some 250 kilometres (150 miles)
east of the capital Dushanbe.
On Thursday, the al Qaeda-linked militant groups the
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), claimed responsibility
for the attack, which killed at least 28 government soldiers.