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Tajik Prosecutors Say Militants Refuse To Lay Down Weapons

The authorities say 17 members of the security forces were killed in the violence.
Tajik prosecutors say militants who were engaged in clashes with security forces this week have refused to lay down their weapons despite a cease-fire.

The prosecutors said in Dushanbe that the militants "have again started to gather armed supporters and have begun armed resistance."

The prosecutors also provided a raised death toll from the fighting this week, saying 17 members of the security forces, 30 militants, and one civilian were killed in the clashes in and around the main regional town of Khorugh.

The fighting began when government forces launched an operation in the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan region against what it called "militants" following the assassination of a high-level security official there on July 21.

The government has blamed Tolib Ayombekov, a former warlord from the civil war, for the murder of regional security chief General Abdullo Nazarov.

With reporting by AFP