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Seven more supporters of rebel general detained in Tajikistan — police

September 08, 2015, 23:48 UTC+3 DUSHANBE
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DUSHANBE, September 8. /TASS/. Tajikistan’s law enforcers have detained seven more members of an armed anti-government group under rebel General Abdukhalim Nazarzoda, a spokesman for the country’s interior ministry said on Tuesday.

"Seven gunmen were detained, one was killed in an exchange of fire," the spokesman said, adding that more than 70 Nazarzoda’s supporters had been arrested and 18 killed since September 4.

"Currently, surviving gunmen are trying to break free from the blocked gorge in small groups," a spokesman for Tajikistan’s State Committee on National Security said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Tajik prosecutor general’s office initiated a criminal case against former deputy defence minister Abdukhalim Nazarzoda on charges of high treason, terrorism, organizing an extremist group and sabotage. Similar charges were brought against Nazarzoda’s "closest supporter" Colonel Dzhunaidullo Umarov, who took active part in setting up a criminal group and attacking policemen in Dushanbe and Vakhdat. The prosecutor general’s office also said Nazarzods possessed a "big business" and dozens of illegally privatized assets."

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. He was dismissed from the post by President Emomali Rakhmov on Friday, September 5, for "committing a crime.".

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