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Tajik General Denies Involvement In Kyrgyz Violence

A top Tajik security official has rejected reports that he and other Tajiks were involved in last month's ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

General Abdullo Nazarov, the head of the National Security Ministry's office in the southeastern region of Badakhshan, told RFE/RL that reports are unfounded that he and other Tajiks were either involved in fomenting or directly taking part in the deadly violence in southern Kyrgyzstan between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz.

Nazarov blamed the ethnic clashes on some "superpowers" who he said wanted to "ignite a fire" in Kyrgyzstan in order to embed themselves in the region's affairs. He said these unnamed powers also wanted to create instability in Tajikistan but failed because the Tajik government is strong enough to resist such moves.

Nazarov said Kyrgyzstan is the weak link in the region and it was thus possible to start ethnic clashes in Osh and Jalal-Abad -- in the same region where violence between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz killed hundreds of people in 1990.

Nazarov was responding to reports by some media outlets that Nazarov met in Tajikistan with Janysh Bakiev, former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev's brother, before the violence broke out in Kyrgyzstan.

The reports were attributed by some sources to Kubat Baibolov, the deputy head of the Kyrgyz Security Service.

But Nazarov said Baibolov did not actually ever make such a statement.

Baibolov last month denied saying Tajiks had been involved in the violence.

The head of Kyrgyzstan's Security Service, Keneshbek Duishebaev, later said some members of the now defunct United Tajik Opposition had been involved in planning the unrest. He did not give any names.

Nazarov, who until May was a deputy head of the National Security Ministry in Dushanbe, noted that as soon as he was named security chief in Badakhshan some "provocateurs" immediately released information that something was going to happen in Badakhshan or other parts of eastern Tajikistan.

Nazarov was fired from the KGB in Soviet times shortly after he accused the agency of orchestrating violence that led to the bloody suppression of political protests in Dushanbe in February 1990.

In 1992, when Tajikistan's civil war began, Nazarov went to Afghanistan with the Tajik opposition forces and returned back to the country in 1997 after the peace agreement was signed that ended the war.

He then returned to work with Tajikistan's security service as part of a deal in which members of the United Tajik Opposition were to receive 30 percent of the posts in the government.