Tajikistan links attackers who killed 4 tourists to opposition, Iran
DUSHANBE: Police in Tajikistan on Tuesday (Jul 31) linked an attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group that killed four tourists including two Americans to a banned Islamist opposition Iran and group.
The victims – two Americans and a Swiss and Dutch citizen – were struck by way of a car and attacked on Sunday on a favorite cycling route in the impoverished Central Asian country.
Two citizens of Switzerland and holland were injured in the attack in the Danghara district also, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the administrative centre Dushanbe. A French citizen survived unscathed.
In a statement on Monday, the Islamic State militant group claimed a “detachment from the soldiers of the Caliphate” had completed the attack against “citizens of Crusader coalition countries.”
A Tajik police statement on Tuesday ignored the IS claim and said the principle detained suspect was an associate of a banned Islamist opposition party and had undergone “military sabotage” trained in Iran.
The suspected attack leader, Hussein Abdusamadov, 33, was an “active member” of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, that was banned by the national government in 2015, police said.
Police said the suspect testified he had travelled four times to Iran also, a national country with which Tajikistan has poor relations, he received an ideological education and underwent military sabotage training “where.”
The statement made no explicit mention of terrorism but said “the crime was committed with the purpose of attempting on state and public security (and) destabilising public order.”
The state prosecutor has opened a murder investigation and police said they will have killed at the very least four people suspected of involvement once they resisted arrest and detained an additional four suspects.
The attack on the tourists cycling a favorite route was reported as a hit-and-run initially, but Tajikistan’s interior minister Ramazon Hamro Rahimzoda said on Monday that the group have been armed with “knives and firearms.”
At least among the three tourists who survived the attack has been treated for stab wounds in hospital, a press was told by the minister conference.
The police account will probably generate scepticism in the context of both countries’ tense bilateral relationship and after Tajikistan’s crackdown on the IRPT was criticised by america and many rights groups.
While majority-Muslim Iran and Tajikistan share a Persian cultural and linguistic heritage, ties have already been bedevilled by tensions.
Although Muslims in Tajikistan stick to the Sunni Islam overwhelmingly, Shia Islam dominates in Iran, limiting religious ties between your two countries.
In 2016, a Tajik court gave life sentences to key figures in the IRPT, a combined group the federal government has accused of plotting to overthrow the federal government.
A US Embassy statement at the proper time raised concerns the members was not granted a good trial.
Some members of the IRPT had fought government forces in the civil war in Tajikistan that lasted from 1992 to 1997.
The party’s subsequent participation in domestic politics was widely seen as a positive legacy of the peace process.
Tajik authorities have declared 2018 “per year of tourism” in the former Soviet republic.
In June, President Emomali Rakhmon said that state officials found to be soliciting bribes from tourists will be deemed “traitors” and fired from their positions.