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DUSHANBE, July 25 (Itar-Tass) —— The Tajik authorities demanded to hand over four residents of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region that are involved in the murder of General of the Tajik security services Abdullo Nazarov. Therefore, the special operation in this region was suspended until 14:00 local time (13:00 Moscow time) on Wednesday.
Tajik Defence Minister Col. Gen. Sherali Khairullayev voiced this ultimatum at the talks with the local mafia bosses, who are the former field commanders of the opposition on Wednesday morning, local media reported. The talks were held in Khorog, the regional centre of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region.
Khairullayev, who is a member of the governmental committee, stated that those will lay down arms voluntarily and surrender to the authorities, will not be persecuted.
The special operation by the Tajik law enforcement agencies was launched in Gorno-Badakhshan at dawn on July 24, after the ringleaders of the local criminal group, who are involved in the murder of the general of the security services according to the Tajik authorities, refused to give away the criminals voluntarily and began to arm with weapons.
The Tajik National Security Committee and the republican Interior Ministry reported that 30 gunmen were killed in the special operation, 40 gunmen were detained and over 100 pieces of firearms were confiscated. Twelve servicemen of the governmental forces were killed and 23 servicemen were injured in the clash. The military rejected the report about casualties among the civilians. Independent media with the reference to their own sources claimed about tens of killed civilians.
The special operation in the Tajik Pamir Mountains evoked an ambiguous response in the Tajik society, particularly among ethnic Pamir residents, who took the actions of the authorities “as an unlawful act of intimidation.”
General Nazarov, 56, was killed in the evening on July 21 not far from Khorog.