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Tajikistan Arrests Member Of Banned Islamic Group

KHUJAND, Tajikistan -- Tajik Interior Ministry officials say a member of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) was detained in the northern village of Navgilem, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Officials say Sayfulloh Okhunov, 27, was charged with organizing a criminal group and that he was an aide to the group's leader, Anvar Qayumov, who was extradited in December from Afghanistan to Tajikistan.

The Interior Ministry spokesman for Sughd Province, Naim Murtazoev, told RFE/RL that six alleged IMU members have recently been arrested and that two more are being sought.

Tajik officials say that this IMU group organized an attack on a detention center in Qairoqum in 2006 in which an IMU member escaped, and it also attacked a checkpoint on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border, killing some border guards and seizing weapons.

The IMU is a militant Islamist group formed in 1998. It was largely destroyed in 2001 when it fought with the Taliban against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.