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DUSHANBE, January 20. /TASS/. Certain forces abroad are behind the coup attempt in Tajikistan undertaken in September 2015, Tajikistani President Emomali Rakhmon said in his annual address to the country’s parliament on Wednesday.
"The September events have shown that there are certain countries and forces abroad that have not abandoned their malicious intentions against the Tajik people and hoped to realize their evil plans using traitors of the nation", he said.
On September 4, supporters of the rebel general, former Deputy Defense Minister Abdukhalim Nazarzoda, in a group numbering more than 200 people attempted to seize a number of law enforcement agencies of Tajikistan and a large quantity of arms and went to the mountains in the country’s east to continue the fight against the government forces. As a result of a two-week anti-terrorist operation, more than 30 rebels were liquidated, more than 150 seized, some of them surrendered voluntarily. Criminal cases on charges of treason, terrorism, extremism and a coup d’etat attempt were opened against the leader of the rebellion and direct sponsors of the coup attempt from the Islamic Renaissance Party.
According to the Tajikistani leader, "these events have shown that there are still certain states and forces that are going to implement their evil plans through their associates and distribute alien ideas among the population."
According to the country’s Interior Ministry, 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 defense minister.
"However, over all these years, the former field commander has been cherishing secret plans and waiting for an opportunity to stage anti-government actions aiming to destabilize the situation in the country," the ministry said.
In a special operation in September 2015, police found a lot of arms and munitions at Nazarzoda’s place of residence and at a bakery in the Vahdatsky district owned by Nazarzoda. The Interior Ministry said Nazarzoda and several dozen of other gunmen were hiding in the Ramit mountain gorge some 40 kilometres east of the capital city of Dushanbe, where armed opposition used to have a base in the year of the civil confrontation.
"Abdukhalim Nazarzoda is accused of terrorist activities and office abuse and will be held answerable with the utmost rigor of the law," Tajikistan’s Interior Minister Ramazan Rakhimzoda told TASS then.