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More Suspected Islamic Militants Arrested In Northern Tajikistan

DUSHANBE -- Tajik police and security forces have detained six suspected members of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in the past two days, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Officials say the arrest of Dilshod Rahimov, 23, of the Istaravshan district of Tajikistan's northern Sughd Province, led to the detention of five more suspects who acted under his leadership.

General Sharif Nazarov, head of the Sughd Province Department of Internal Affairs, told RFE/RL that all those arrested are local inhabitants, as are their ring-leaders, who according to Nazarov were trained in terrorist camps abroad and then returned to Tajikistan.

Nazarov added that some 15 suspected IMU activists have been detained in Sughd over the past two weeks. They have all been charged with membership of a banned terrorist group and creating an organized criminal ring.

The authorities in Sughd Province are concerned at the increase in IMU activity in Istaravshan. Sughd Province head Qohir Rasulzoda traveled recently to Istaravshan and reminded local district heads that 21 of the 33 suspected IMU members detained in Sughd to date are residents of Istaravshan.

In the past two months, police special units killed five suspected militants in the Isfara district of Sughd.