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Tajikistan: Warlord Killed By Government Forces

Dushanbe, 2 December 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Tajik government forces have killed warlord Rivzon Sadirov and arrested more than 20 of his associates during an attack in a suburb of the capital Dushanbe. Sadirov had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping two weeks ago of two French aid workers, one of whom was killed on Sunday during a failed rescue attempt.

First Deputy Security Minister General Anatoly Kuptsov said the government raid began overnight in a number of apartments and safe houses used by Sadirov's group. Rivzon himself was killed by hand grenades after he was driven down into a cellar and refusing an order to give himself up. His wife and mother-in-law, who were captured, later identified his body.

Despite the scale of the operation, none of the 14 Tajik nationals being held by Sadirov's group, including two sons of the Mufti of Tajikistan, were released.

Sadirov had been demanding the release of his brother Bakhrom from government custody in exchange for releasing his hostages.

Also see: Tajikistan: Warlord Rezvon Sadirov Becomes Latest Victim