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Tajikistan Reportedly Arrests Rebel Brothers, Other Insurgents

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Interior Ministry says several insurgents have been arrested in the eastern Tavil-Dara district in recent days, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajik government sources told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that two brothers of slain insurgent leader Nemat Azizov -- Rahmiddin and Zaidullo Azizov -- agreed to surrender.

Nemat Azizov was suspected of leading attacks on government forces in eastern Tajikistan as a member of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

Tajik forces said they killed Azizov on July 29.

Meanwhile, police in the Khovaling district of Khatlon Province -- which borders Tavil-Dara -- told RFE/RL that four people were arrested by order of the local prosecutor.

Rustam Temurov, the Khovaling police chief, said the four are suspected of committing robberies in 1997-98 when some 100 horses and more than 4,000 sheep were stolen by armed groups.

But local analyst Farukh Mirzo said that both the opposition fighters and the government's National Front committed crimes in the Shuknov area in that period.

He said the arrests of the four are related to the fighting that has taken place in the Tavil-Dara in the last several weeks between Tajik security forces and insurgents, and have nothing to do with the stolen animals.