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Tajikistan to pull troops out of Badakhshan after quiet returns

August 01, 2012, 20:16 UTC+3

July 24, units reporting to the Defense Ministry and agencies of law and order were deployed to Khorog

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DUSHANBE, August 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Tajikistani government troops will remain in the autonomous region of Kuhistoni Badakhshon /Mountainous Badakhshan/ until all the individuals involved in the assassination of the security service general Abdullo Nazarov surrender and the military and political situation in the region fully returns to normal, a high-ranking source at one of the country's law enforcement agencies told Itar-Tass Wednesday.

Gen Nazarov was killed July 31.

July 24, units reporting to the Defense Ministry and agencies of law and order were deployed to Khorog, the region's administrative center, to neutralize the illegal paramilitary units and to establish full control over the situation in that highly explosive part of the country.

"A moratorium on combat operations has been in effect as of July 25," the source said. "Life in Khorog has returned to normal. All the government offices and shops are open, public transport is functioning, and people are moving freely on the streets."

"Sweep operations are underway to identify and detain the people involved in the assassination of our comrade in arms /Gen Nazarov/," he said. "The troops are exercising control over the paramilitaries' voluntary disarmament."

According to the Tajikistani Interior Ministry, the paramilitaries have handed in more than 300 automatic weapons, including large-caliber ones -- a reassuring fact if one recalls that no one knows precisely how many units of automatic weaponry are stranded in Kuhistoni Badakhshon since the times of Tajikistan's bloody civil war that raged from 1992 through to 1997.

Tajikistan's Office of the Prosecutor General says 30 militants and 17 government soldiers have been killed in the course of armed clashes in the regions and there are victims among the civilian population, too.

In the meantime, the government that has issued only one official commentary on the situation over the past ten days is tightening censorship in the Internet.

Access to practically all the news engines, even the largest ones like Asia Plus,, Centrasia, and Fergana has been blocked practically in full in the past two days.




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