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Tajik law enforcers neither confirm nor refute rebellious general’s death

September 11, 2015, 18:54 UTC+3 DUSHANBE

Earlier of Friday, local news agency Asia Plus said General Nazarzoda had been killed in the anti-terrorist operation

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©  AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, Archive

DUSHANBE, September 11. /TASS/. Tajikistan’s law enforcement agencies neither confirm nor refute reports about liquidation of rebel General Abdukhalim Nazarzoda, a source close to the anti-terrorist operation told TASS on Friday commenting on media reports.

"Tajikistan’s law enforcement structures so far have no reports confirming liquidation of the rebel general," the source said.

He said the anti-terrorist operation was continued. Seven more gunmen from Nazarzoda’s anti-government group were detained on Friday in the Ramit mountain gorge. In all, more than 100 Nazrazoda’s supporters have been detained since September 4. As many as 21 gunmen have been killed, hundreds of firearms had been seized.

Earlier of Friday, local news agency Asia Plus said General Nazarzoda had been killed in the anti-terrorist operation.

On September 4, the rebellious general together with his supporters staged two terrorist attacks in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe and Vahdat, in the country’s west. Nazarzoda seized a large amount of weapons and hid in the Ramit Gorge. Nine police officers have been killed as a result of the criminals' attacks and 12 others have been wounded, Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry said.

Tajik prosecutor general’s office initiated a criminal case against Nazarzoda, the former defence minister, 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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