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Uzbek Authorities Claim Tajik Agent Arrested

(RFE/RL) 22 June 2006 -- A pro-government Uzbek media outlet reports today that law-enforcement agencies in that country's southern Surkhandarya region recently arrested a man whom they claim Tajik authorities had smuggled across the border with a view to performing terrorist attacks in the country.

The incident comes with bilateral relations already strained by accusations and counteraccusations about purported activities by militants seeking to stir up trouble for both countries.

The website claims Murodullo Zhuraev was detained for unrelated in Surkhandarya's Bandykhan district and is currently being interrogated.

It quotes Uzbek security officials as saying Zhuraev admitted to being a convicted Tajik drug trafficker who agreed to fulfill this mission in return for money and a promise to not be given an additional jail term.

Zhuraev reportedly told investigators that after giving him proper military training, the Tajik Interior Ministry ordered him to Uzbekistan with a view to committing murders there. He also allegedly confessed to being instructed to recruit people to carry out terrorist attacks in Tajikistan.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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