Tajik officials says 20 soldiers killed in clash

Dushanbe: A security services official says that at least 20 government soldiers have been killed in clashes with an armed group led by a former warlord, whom the Tajik government has accused of involvement in a recent killing of a senior intelligence officer.

Today's fighting marked one of the worst outbursts of violence in the impoverished ex-Soviet nation since a government campaign in 2010 to wipe out Islamist militants in another part of the country.

The security services official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he's not authorised to speak to the media, said today's clash occurred in the mountainous semi-autonomous Gorno-Badakhshan province bordering Afghanistan.