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Tajik Minister Says Deadly Attacks Financed By Islamic Party

Tajikistan's interior minister says a mutiny that left more than 20 people dead in and around Dushanbe in September was financed by the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT).

Ramazon Rahimzoda said in a meeting on December 14 that "ordinary people supported law-enforcement agencies" following the deadly attacks, enabling government forces to eliminate the "terrorist group" within 10-12 days.

The Tajik government has blamed the September 4 attacks on Deputy Defense Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda, who was killed alongside his supporters in an operation by government forces.

The IRPT, which was suspended in late August, was branded an "extremist and terrorist organization" and banned by the Supreme Court on September 29.

That move was widely criticized by international rights organizations.

Meanwhile, Rahimzoda also said that more than 600 Tajik nationals are currently fighting alongside militants in Iraq and Syria.

Nearly 50 Tajiks have voluntarily returned home "as the result of Tajik authorities' appeal" on Tajiks fighting abroad to leave Syria and Iraq and surrender to Tajik authorities to avoid prosecution.

Rahimzoda said Tajikistan will continue to work to return Tajik militants who are fighting abroad.

With reporting by
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