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Tajikistan Says Kills Four Islamist Militants

DUSHANBE (Reuters) -- Tajikistan's security forces have killed four Taliban-linked Islamist militants and captured one in a gunfight, the Central Asian state's Interior Ministry said.

Tokhir Normatov, a senior ministry official, said the shootout took place on October 18 in the town of Isfara, close to the border with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan when security forces tried to detain members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

"The security forces fired back and killed four Islamists, another one surrendered and was detained," Normatov told Reuters.

Pakistan said this month it had killed Takhir Yuldashev, the leader of the IMU, which has fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan and is also believed to be aligned with Al-Qaeda.

Ex-Soviet Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan, reported a string of gunfights with the IMU this year, prompting fears of violence spilling into the wider Central Asia region.