Nine dead, 24 wounded in clashes in restive Tajikistan region

Nine dead, 24 wounded in clashes in restive Tajikistan region

Nine dead, 24 wounded in clashes in restive Tajikistan region

Nine dead, 24 wounded in clashes in restive Tajikistan region

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Nine people were killed and two dozen were injured in clashes between security forces and “terrorists” in a troubled region of Tajikistan bordering Afghanistan and China on Wednesday, The interior ministry said.

According to the ministry, members of “organized criminal groups” armed with weapons and Molotov cocktails attacked security officials in Gorno-eastern Badakhshan’s region.

One security officer was killed and 13 were seriously injured in the attack, it said.

The ministry said the attack came during an “anti-terror operation” launched earlier Wednesday after 200 armed people blocked a highway on the border with Afghanistan.

As a result of the operation, eight “militants” were killed, 11 wounded and more than 70 “active members of a terrorist group” were detained, the ministry said.

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Tajik authorities claimed in an earlier statement that the militants had received arms and support from international “terrorist organizations” and foreign mercenaries, accusing them of seeking to undermine the country’s constitutional order.

The region has been tense since a five-year civil war erupted shortly after the Central Asian nation gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Gorno-Badakhshan, a linguistically and ethnically distinct region, was home to rebels who opposed government forces during the conflict.

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