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Scene from a Tajik mosque (file photo) (RFE/RL)
19 January 2006 -- Tajikistan says a banned Islamic group is stepping up activity in the country and trying to establish links with local organizations.
Interior Minister Humdin Sharifov said on 19 January that the number of Hizb ut-Tahrir followers has "lately" been growing in Tajikistan.
He noted that the group was "establishing contact" with other parties and movements in the country.
Sharifov added that some of the group's arrested members belonged to the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP).
The IRP fought against the country's secular government in the 1992-1997 civil war, eventually securing a power-sharing agreement. Its influence has decreased in recent years.
Tajik authorities announced on 16 January that they had arrested 99 Hizb ut-Tahrir members last year.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, or Party of Liberation, calls for the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate. Its activities are banned in all Central Asian republics, although the group claims its activities are peaceful.
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