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Tajikistan Says East Is Returning To Normal

DUSHANBE -- Tajik security forces removed five checkpoints in the eastern Tavil-Dara district in a sign of improved security in that part of the country, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajik Interior Ministry spokesman Mahmadulloh Asadulloev said that after the killing and arrests of insurgent leaders and their fighters in Tavil-Dara the situation there is returning to normal.

He added that most Interior and Defense Ministry units that had deployed there are returning to their bases.

Asadulloev said Tajik security forces are no longer on the state of alert that was announced in May as they began what the government called the counternarcotics operation "Drugs 2009."

The government has accused Mirzo Ziyoev, the former commander of opposition forces during the mid-1990s Tajik Civil War, and his supporters of drug trafficking and supporting the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

Ziyoev and his close aide Nemat Azizov were both killed last month by Tajik security forces in Tavil-Dara.

On August 3, the Tajik government announced the arrest of two of Azizov's brothers and several other armed men.

Locals told RFE/RL that only one checkpoint remains along the road from Dushanbe to Tavil-Dara and Khorugh that connects the middle and eastern parts of the country.