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Tajik Forces Kill, Capture Prison Escapees And Suspected Militants

Fugitive militant Mazhariddin Khudoyorov was one of those killed in a Tajik government operation.

Fugitive militant Mazhariddin Khudoyorov was one of those killed in a Tajik government operation.

DUSHANBE -- Tajik officials say an escapee from a high-profile jailbreak last year and a suspected insurgent have been killed by security forces in east-central Tajikistan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajik Interior Ministry spokesman Mahmadullo Asadulloev told RFE/RL that the men were killed during a government operation in the village of Yasman, in the Rasht district, which was launched on June 20.

Asadulloev noted that Mazhariddin Khudoyorov, a participant in the mass jailbreak in August, and armed militant Mahmadkarim Ibrohimov (known as Shaykh Kamol) were killed during the operation.

Ibrohimov is believed to be a member of an Islamic insurgent group that fought against government troops in the Rasht region last year.

Asadulloev said another jailbreak escapee, Furqat Kholmetov, and suspected militant Imomnazar Muqimov were detained in the operation on June 20. Muqimov was a Tajik soldier who went missing in September last year during antiterrorist operations in Rasht.

Asadulloev said investigators are trying to find out if Muqimov deserted the army and joined the militants on his own or was forced to do so after being captured by extremists.

Asadulloev added that Kholmetov is an Uzbek citizen and was charged with membership in the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. He said weapons and ammunition were found with the men.

On August 23 2010, 25 inmates escaped from the National Security Committee's top-security prison in Dushanbe, killing four guards in the process.

A total of 15 escapees have been detained and four killed after today's events, leaving just six men involved in the jailbreak still on the run.

A Tajik court last month sentenced four of the captured escapees to life imprisonment and three others received 30-year jail terms for their part in the prison break.