DUSHANBE, September 6. /TASS/. Four gunmen of an anti-government armed group have been killed and seven more have been detained in a special operation in the Ramitskoye mountain gorge in Tajikistan, a source in Tajikistan’s law enforcement structure told TASS on Sunday.
"Four gunmen of the group led by former Defence Minister Abdulkalim Nazarzoda have been killed in the special operation. A big number of arms has been seized," the source said, adding that the special operation was underway to spot Nazarzoda’s whereabouts.
Earlier on Sunday, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon said in the town of Vakhdat he is currently visiting on a one-day working trip that Tajikistan’s law enforcers would complete the operation to neutralize the anti-government armed group within days.
The Tajik leader expressed concern over the youth’s involvement in terrorist groups, including Islamic State, of which, in his words about 500 Tajik citizens were members. Speaking about the situation over the recent terrorist attacks on the Vakhdat police and central headquarters of the Tajik defence ministry, Rakhmon pledged "escapee terrorists will be detained in the days to come and the operation will be over."
On Saturday, gunmen of Nazarzoda’s criminal group dropped most of arms and fled to the mountains some 50 kilometres from the country’s capital city Dushanbe.
Over the years of the civil war in Tajikistan in 1992-1995, Nazarzoda, dubbed Khalim, was a field commander of the Tajik armed opposition. After a peace deal was signed in June 1997, Nazarzoda was commissioned to the Tajik army under the programme of reintegration of former opposition gunmen. In 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed deputy defence minister.