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Majlis Podcast: The 'Terrorist' Attack In Tajikistan – What's Fact And What's Fiction


People attend a funeral ceremony on November 7 for one of the border guards killed in an attack the previous day that has been claimed by Islamic State.

A November 6 attack on Tajik servicemen in a rural area of western Tajikistan near the Uzbek border remains a mystery due to the reluctance of the Dushanbe government to provide many details.

Much of the information Tajikistan has provided about the attack, which officially left five border guards, a policeman, and 15 attackers dead, seems dubious.

The Tajik government has blamed militants from the so-called Islamic State (IS) extremist group who had crossed from Afghanistan into Tajikistan to carry out the attack.

Two days later IS did claim responsibility.

But there are many questions about what happened on November 6 and who was really behind the incident.

RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderated a discussion on what information is available about the attack in Tajikistan and why it doesn't all add up.

Catherine Putz, managing editor at The Diplomat and author of many articles about Central Asia, participated in the discussion from Washington, D.C. Joining from England was Samuel Ramani, who studies international relations at Oxford University and has authored many articles about global security matters, as well as Central Asia. Mu'min Ahmadi from RFE/RL's Tajik Service (known locally as Ozodi) also took part.

I thought the Tajik government's version of events left a lot to be desired, so I had something to say, too.

*NOTE: This podcast was recorded before Islamic State released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack in Tajikistan.

Majlis Podcast: The 'Terrorist' Attack In Tajikistan -- What’s Fact And What’s Fiction
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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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