Accessibility links

Officials in Tajikistan's northern Suhd province have announced that a trial of suspected members of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has started behind closed doors in a local detention center.

The 17 defendants have been charged with terrorism.

Last week, officials said a suspected regional leader of IMU and two associates were detained.

In April, a Tajik court convicted 34 alleged members of IMU on terrorism-related charges and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from eight to 28 years.

The IMU, which says it wants to establish an Islamic Caliphate in Central Asia, had been active in the region, but has moved its operations to neighboring Afghanistan in recent years.

Tajikistan saw a spike in militant activity in 2010 that led to the death of dozens of troops.

Based on reporting by Interfax, BBC, and