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Source: Tajik rebellious general alive, his location known

September 13, 2015, 9:37 UTC+3 DUSHANBE
TASS sources at the republic’s intelligence agencies say the special mission in the Ramit Gorge continues
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© AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

DUSHANBE, September 13. /TASS/. Leader of an anti-governmental group, Tajikistan’s former Deputy Defence Minister Abdukhalim Nazarzoda is alive, his location is known and he is surrounded, a well-informed source told TASS on Sunday.

The source said "the information in some foreign media the rebellious general was killed is not confirmed." Nor is the information confirmed by the evidences of his detained allies or by the reconnaissance groups, the source said.

TASS sources at the republic’s intelligence agencies say the special mission in the Ramit Gorge continues. Besides the special units, the mission uses helicopters and other "special means."

The anti-terror mission continues on the eve of a summit of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation) due on September 15 in Dushanbe. Thus, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon had ordered the national security, intelligence and law enforcement authorities to undertake unprecedented measures to provide security of the summit participants. Enforced checkpoints control all entries to the city. Under enforced security guard are all strategic facilities and the summit venues and accommodations. Press service of the country’s interior ministry said traffic will be limited along Dushanbe central streets during the summit.

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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