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DUSHANBE, September 22 (Itar-Tass) - A terrorist grouping closely linked to Al-Qaeda global militant organisation was harboring plans to carry out a series of bombings in residential districts of Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, a source at the Interior Ministry of the Central Asian country told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
Security and law-enforcement agencies held a joint operation on Saturday resulting in “detention of ten Tajikistani nationals who were members of the criminal gang,” he said.
“Combat uniforms, two guns with supplementary cartridge magazines, powder and parts for explosive devices, extremist literature and communication devices with a great number of sim-cards for mobile phones were found during the search operation,” he said.
Ringleader Alamurod Makhanov and all the other detainees have confessed their part in plotting the terrorist attacks aimed to “destabilise the public and political situation in the run-up to the presidential election” scheduled for November 6, 2013.
“They planned to plant explosives at the four arch gates at the entrance of Dushanbe, at major marketplaces and in residential areas as well as near the buildings of the National Security Committee and the Interior Ministry,” the source said.
Makhanov underwent a special training in one of the terrorist camps in Pakistan’s province of Waziristan and was an active member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the military wing of which is believed to be closely attached to Al-Qaeda.
Tajikistani Interior Minister Gen Ramazon Rakhimov said the police had neutralised extremist network arresting 30 militants since the beginning of the year.
“We cannot rule out the possibility of new groupings of terrorists and saboteurs may infiltrating Tajikistan in the year of the presidential election and so we keep the situation under control,” the police general told Itar-Tass commenting on the crime situation in the country.