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Islamic Movement Of Uzbekistan 'Commander' Detained In Tajikistan

DUSHANBE -- A suspected regional leader of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and two associates have been arrested in southern Khatlon Province, Tajik officials say.

Zilmurod Eshonkhonov, 39, was identified as a local IMU commander.

The arrests were reportedly based on intelligence provided by an alleged IMU fighter extradited from Pakistan earlier this year.

All the arrested suspects are from the village of Kizil Nishon.

Two locals from the same village were sentenced to long prison terms in February after being convicted of belonging to the IMU.

Several other men from the village are wanted by authorities.

The IMU, which is believed to have ties with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, says it wants to establish an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia.