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Tajikistan Asks Kyrgyz Officials To Explain 'Tajik Involvement' In Unrest

Kubat Baibolov
Kubat Baibolov
DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's National Security Committee has sent a letter to the Kyrgyz interim government asking it to explain media reports that say Tajik citizens are involved in the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajikistan's parliament tasked the country's National Security Committee with sending the letter.

Kubat Baibolov, Kyrgyzstan's deputy security minister and the commandant of the southern city of Jalal-Abad, was quoted by Russia's ITAR-TASS as saying the conflict between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Jalal-Abad and Osh was ignited by a group of Tajiks hired by relatives of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev who killed Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in order to provoke the ethnic unrest.

But Baibolov told RFE/RL in an interview on June 16 that the ITAR-TASS report is untrue. He said despite some information that citizens of a
third country had operated among the gangs that attacked Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, there is no evidence about their nationality. He added that he never said they were Tajiks.

Similar to the ITAR-TASS report, Ekho Moskvy radio station correspondent Arkady Dubnov reported on June 15 that some former fighters from the 1992-97 Tajik civil war were hired through the Tajik Embassy in Moscow to destabilize the situation in Kyrgyzstan.

The Tajik Foreign Ministry issued a statement on June 15 calling the reports about the participation of Tajik citizens in the unrest "baseless,"
adding that "the people who are involved in these inhuman activities in Osh and Jalal-Abad have no nationality and country of origin."

The ministry expressed the hope that Kyrgyz authorities will reject such "unfriendly" statements.