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Retired Tajik Officer's Son Killed Fighting In Syria

KULOB, Tajikistan -- A retired senior regional police officer in Tajikistan, Colonel Jumahon Muhtorov, says his son has been killed while fighting alongside Islamic militants in Syria.

Muhtorov told RFE/RL on April 15 that officials of the State Committee for National Security had informed him earlier in the week that his 26-year-old son, Dilovar, had been killed in Syria in recent days.

According to Muhtorov, he had tried his best to persuade his son to return back to Tajikistan when Dilovar first called him from Syria last year.

Muhtorov spoke to RFE/RL a day after Tajik authorities announced they have arrested a Tajik man allegedly involved in recruiting youth from the Central Asian nation to fight in Syria alongside militants from Islamic State and other extremist groups.

Officials said that the suspect, known in Turkey as Kori Husein, resided in Moscow and arranged for at least three Tajiks to travel to Syria to join militants. His name was not released.

The International Crisis Group recently estimated that 2,000 to 4,000 people from former Soviet Central Asia have gone to Syria in the last three years to join militants.