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Over 200 Tajiks fight in ranks of Syrian opposition — Tajik Interior Ministry

October 15, 2014, 20:38 UTC+3 DUSHANBE
This year, over 180 people have been detained on suspicion and charges of taking part in banned extremist parties and movements in Tajikistan
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© EPA/MAYSUN

DUSHANBE, October 15. /TASS/. More than 200 Tajik nationals are taking part in hostilities in Syria on the side of the armed opposition, Tajikistan’s Interior Minister Ramazan Rakhimzoda said Wednesday.

Rakhimzoda said the republic’s law enforcement agencies have arrested 19 people on charges of participating in a criminal association, recruiting, training and financing mercenaries and other crimes.

“Besides, another 10 local residents were detained in Tajikistan’s Sughd Region. They were trying to go to Syria via third countries to take part in combat activities against the army of [President] Bashar Assad,” he stressed.

The Tajik authorities deny that banned religious-extremist and terrorist organizations exist in the country. But according to Tajik special services’ data, since the year start, over 180 people have been detained on suspicion and charges of taking part in banned extremist parties and movements.

Earlier, Tajikistan prohibited the activity of such organizations as Hizb ut-Tahrir, Turkestan Islamic Movement, Ansarullah, Tablighi Jamaat and Gruppa24.

Fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has left over 100,000 people dead and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to UN statistics.

The first two rounds of an international peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States and designed to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, brought no particular progress in January and February. The parties to the Syrian conflict agreed to continue their discussions.

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