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Tajik Official Says 'Successful' Antiterror Operation Almost Over

Saymumin Yatimov
Saymumin Yatimov
DUSHANBE -- The head of Tajikistan's State Committee for National Security said today that the operation launched in late September against Islamic militants in the eastern Rasht Valley was a success and is almost complete, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Committee Chairman Saymumin Yatimov told top security officials from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) meeting in Dushanbe that several militants have been killed and an unspecified number of others have been detained or surrendered.

He said the militants were unable to create disorder in the eastern part of the country and that only five or six continue to resist Tajik security forces.

The operation against groups allegedly led by former opposition commanders Mullo Abdullo and Ali Bedaki began in earnest at the end of September after some 25 Tajik soldiers were killed in an attack in Rasht's Kamarob Gorge.

The government identified Abdullo and Bedaki as having organized the attack.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) head Nikolai Bortnikov noted that CIS security services closely monitor developments in neighboring Afghanistan and the ideology of radical Islamic groups and terrorist organizations and their potential to undermine security across the CIS.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon reminded participants at the meeting of Tajikistan's key role in preventing the "infiltration of terrorism, extremism, and illegal drugs" into the CIS. Rahmon said that over the past 10 years, Tajikistan has confiscated more than 68 tons of drugs from Afghanistan destined for CIS states.

Rahmon claimed that the world economic crisis has impelled some countries to use terrorism as "a pretext for political games." He argued that in an era of globalization, no country can guarantee its safety and security on its own.