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Putin: Russia Will Help Ensure Tajikistan's Stability Following Recent Violence

Putin Says Fighting Islamic State A Priority
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WATCH: Putin Says Fighting Islamic State A Priority (RFE/RL's Tajik Service)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow will help Tajikistan ensure stability after recent violence there left more than 20 dead, stoking fresh fears of unrest in the former Soviet state.

Putin said Tajikistan could count on Russian "help and support," before adding that Tajik armed forces were "successfully dealing with the problems that arise."

Putin was speaking on September 15 in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, at a meeting of a Moscow-dominated security alliance of ex-Soviet states.

Among those attending was Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.

Putin's comments come after gunmen loyal to Tajikistan's former deputy defense minister clashed with government forces on September 4.

Tajik officials blame Abduhalim Nazarzoda and his supporters for attacks on a police station and an arsenal near Dushanbe that killed 26 people, including nine police officers and 17 suspected militants.

At the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Putin also said Moscow was worried about a possible spillover of violence from Afghanistan into Tajikistan and other Central Asian states.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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