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Tajik Minister Says No 'Blacklists' In Restive Region

The town of Khorog in Gorno-Badakhshan (file photo)
DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimov says militants who give up their arms and cooperate with investigators will not face prosecution.

Rahimov rejected reports about the existence of a "blacklist" to prosecute alleged participants in recent clashes between security forces and police.

A special operation conducted in July by security forces in the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan province left some 70 people dead.

Clashes between troops and militants, fuelled by the killing of a local security chief, lasted until late August.

Local citizens claim the majority of those killed in the clashes were ordinary people, not militants.

Last week, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on a visit to the restive region said there would be "no more talks with militants."