DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Interior Ministry says that at least five supporters of former opposition commander Mirzokhuja Ahmadov were killed during an counterterrorist operation in the Rasht district, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
The Interior Ministry added that Ahmadov's house was attacked by rockets and the fate of Ahmadov is unknown.
Sources inside the Rasht district, which is about 200 kilometers east of Dushanbe, told RFE/RL that after the attack on Ahmadov's house another former opposition commander, Shoh Iskandarov, had reportedly joined the militants.
Ahmadov told RFE/RL on September 21 that government forces began searching the houses of former United Tajik Opposition (UTO) fighters in the Rasht district after a September 19 attack on a military convoy that killed at least 25 soldiers.
The UTO fought in the 1992-97 Tajik civil war against the administration of President Emomali Rahmon.
The Interior Ministry said it was continuing an intensive search operation.
Rasht authorities issued a curfew on September 21 from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.