BBC News – Tajikistan clashes: ‘Many dead’ in Gorno-Badakhshan

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Tajikistan

Some unconfirmed reports speak of a far higher level of casualties, with dozens of people being killed in the violence.

It follows the fatal stabbing of a top security forces official on Saturday.

That led to military action against local opposition strongman Tolib Ayombekov, reports say.

Residents of the provincial capital Khorog told the BBC their town now resembled a warzone.

Communications in Gorno-Badakhshan province have now been cut.

People are trapped in their homes because of the heavy fighting in the streets, where armoured vehicles have been seen. Dozens of people have been reported wounded.

A hospital official in the Tajik capital Dushanbe – where some of those injured have been treated – told the BBC’s Central Asian Service that more than 200 people were killed on Tuesday.

The dead included more than 100 military personnel and about 100 civilians, he said.

The official – who did not want to be named – said that about 60 people were injured in the violence.

State television said that police detained 40 armed men on Tuesday, including eight Afghans. It said that 23 soldiers were injured in the operation in Khorog – but there were no civilian casualties.

Security forces say they decided to use force after Mr Ayombekov refused to surrender.

Mr Ayombekov was a member of the opposition which fought against the government during Tajikistan’s civil war in the 1990s.

via BBC News – Tajikistan clashes: ‘Many dead’ in Gorno-Badakhshan.

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