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Second Tajik Prison Escapee Killed By Security Forces

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Interior Ministry says security forces have killed a second escapee from a prison break last month, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The ministry said on September 28 that Russian national Gusein Suleimanov, 25, was killed by security forces in the Chanoro village of Faizobod district one day earlier. It is the same district in which Rahmiddin Azizov, another of the 25 prison escapees, was killed the previous day in a shootout.

The Interior Minstry said Suleimanov, who it said was born in the Russian republic of Daghestan, was killed when he resisted government forces seeking to arrest him. He was said to have been armed at the time.

The ministry added that there were three other fugitives from the jailbreak hiding in a house in the same village as Suleimanov at the time. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Nozirjon Buriev, spokesman for Tajikistan's National Security Committee, said on September 27 that Azizov also resisted arrest on September 26 but was killed by security forces. He said Azizov was carrying an automatic weapon and cash.

Twenty-five men escaped from a high-security prison in Dushanbe on August 22. Seven have been recaptured. Azizov was the first fugitive to be killed.

Former Guantanamo prison inmate Ibrahim Nasridinnov, one of three people thought to have organized the escape, was captured by security forces in the Vahdat district, about 30 kilometers east of Dushanbe, on September 2. And four days later Abdurasul Mirzoev was caught near the Faizobod district.

The 52-year-old Mirzoev -- the brother of General Ghaffor Mirzoev -- was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being detained and extradited from the United Arab Emirates earlier this year. He was convicted of illegal possession of weapons, robbery, and plotting to overthrow the government.

Two fugitives were captured in a separate raid on September 10 and two more three days later after a shootout. A few days later Russian citizen Ali Aliev was arrested.

The 16 other escapees, among them three Russian citizens, four Afghans and two Uzbeks, are still at large. Many of the fugitives were suspected members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan militant group.