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14 Suspected Terrorists Detained In Northern Tajikistan

The site of the September 3 bomb attack in Khujand

The site of the September 3 bomb attack in Khujand

DUSHANBE -- Fourteen suspected terrorists were captured and a quantity of guns confiscated during a special operation in the Istaravshan district of northern Tajikistan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Sughd district prosecutor Yusuf Rahmonov told RFE/RL that the men detained on October 12 are suspected of involvement in a suicide bombing in Khujand, about 50 kilometers northeast of Istaravshan.

Four police officers were killed and 28 injured in that blast, which is believed to be the first-ever suicide bomb attack in Tajikistan.

Sughd officials refused to release the names of those detained or to specify which extremist group they are believed to belong to.

Regional security officials earlier identified the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan as responsible for the September 3 attack, but offered no evidence to support those claims.

Three men were arrested in mid-September in connection with the Khujand bombing. They include Firdaws Karimov, 18, whose brother Akmal Karimov is believed to have been the suicide bomber.

Many analysts had previously considered northern Tajikistan's Isfara region the main base for Islamic extremistic groups.

This is the first time such a large group of people has been arrested in hitherto peaceful Istaravshan on suspicion of involvement in terrorism.