DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's Defense Ministry has denied that recent deadly clashes are behind an order calling on all males aged between 18 and 45 years of age to report to military offices in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region.
On August 20, spokesman Faridun Mahmadaliev described the order as "a routine, nationwide procedure that has taken place annually since 2000."
Local citizens told RFE/RL that males in the region were called to military commissions for questioning about their military background.
Reports say men who formerly served in Soviet or Tajik forces as paratroopers, snipers, or members of special rapid-reaction forces were required to register.
Mahmadaliev said the registration is usually followed by short-term military training.
Some 70 people were killed in fighting between government forces and militants last month in Gorno-Badakhshan's provincial capital, Khorugh.