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Tajik Opposition Leader Beaten In Capital

A leader of Tajikistan's largest opposition party has been attacked in the capital, Dushanbe.

A colleague said Mukhamadal Khayit of the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) was kicked and beaten by several unidentified attackers outside his home on the evening of April 19.

Khayit was taken to hospital with moderate and more serious injuries, according to the colleague, Khikmatullo Saifullozoda.

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The IRP is the only opposition party in the parliament of mainly Muslim Tajikistan.

The Central Asian country of 8 million has been ruled for 20 years by President Emomali Rahmon.

Tajikistan is scheduled to hold presidential elections in November in which the 60-year-old Rahmon is expected to seek another term.

The moderate IRP, which is campaigning for a bigger role for Islam in public life, has not yet named its candidate for the November ballot.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax