DUSHANBE, May 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Three people have been killed and five more injured in massive riots thet broke out in the city of Khorog, an administrative center of Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province on May 21, the press center of the Interior Ministry reported on Thursday.
Violence flared up in the city after policemen killed two local residents in a special operation to detain suspected drug traffickers, the press service said. According to official police reports, three suspects in the car “tried to escape pursuit and opened fire at policemen wounding four of them.” Two suspected drug dealers were killed and another one was wounded in a brief shootout.
Police action stirred up protests among local residents that grew in massive disorders. The mob set on fire several administrative buildings, including police headquarters, court and prosecutor’s office and overthrew several cars. A policeman was lethally wounded in suppression of riots. A team of operatives and detectives went urgently on Wednesday evening to the conflict area to investigate the incident and stabilize the situation. Officers of police and the State National Security Committee were included in the investigative group.
Law enforcement agencies now fully control the situation in the city, Interior Minister Ramazan Rakhimov told ITAR-TASS.
Meanwhile, several foreign diplomatic missions accredited in Tajikistan, including the embassies of the UK and US, addressed citizens of their countries through social networks. They asked them to refrain temporarily from trips to Tajikistan’s Badakhshan and urged those compatriots who are already staying there to be cautious and not to visit massive gatherings.
Last time disorders were reported in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in 2012. Then, a brutal murder of head of the regional department of the State National Security Committee General Abdullo Nazarov sparked the disorder. Dushanbe authorities used armored personnel carriers and army units in the special operation.