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Tajikistan Hands Over Two Terrorist Suspects To Kyrgyzstan

Map of Tajikistan
Map of Tajikistan
BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz police official says two men detained by Tajik law enforcement officials and returned to Kyrgyzstan are members of terrorist groups, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kenesh Abdyrakhmanov, head of the Interior Ministry office in Kyrgyzstan's southwestern Batken region, told RFE/RL on July 8 that the men, who were detained in Tajikistan without any documents, told Tajik security forces they were Kygyz labor migrants returning home from Russia.

But Abdyrakhmanov said that after they were handed over to Kyrgyz authorities an investigation indicated they were members of extremist organizations and wanted by police in both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

One of the men was identified as Abduvakhid Aliev, 30, a resident of Uzbekistan's Andijon region and an alleged member of the Union of Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

Aliev is wanted by Uzbekistan for his alleged participation in the deadly Andijon protests in 2005. Abdyrakhmanov said Aliev is thought to have attended training at a militant camp in Pakistan in 2007-08.

But Aliev told RFE/RL that the charges against him are baseless and he denied participating in the Andijon events. He added that he was hiding in Tajikistan in an effort to escape punishment for his role in a robbery in Uzbekistan.

The second man, Kyrgyz resident Atabek Toychiev, was placed on Kyrgyzstan's "wanted list" last year for his alleged participation in terrorist activities.

Human rights groups say hundreds of people were killed when Uzbek security forces fired on a crowd of demonstrators in Andijon in May 2005. The Uzbek government says 187 died and blamed Islamic militants for instigating the violence.