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Tajik Militant Group Warns Of New Attacks, Calls For Uprising

Tajik parliament deputy Saidumar Husayni
Tajik parliament deputy Saidumar Husayni
DUSHANBE -- A Tajik-language website purportedly run by Islamic militants has vowed to carry out new attacks on government forces and called on the Tajik people to rebel against President Emomali Rahmon, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

A previously unknown group called Mujahids from Tajikistan (Mujohidini Tojikiston) said in a statement posted on its website that, despite the death of Islamic militant leader Mullo Abdullo in Tajikistan earlier this month, they will continue attacks on government forces and state employees.

Mullo Abdullo (Abdullo Rahimov) was killed on April 16 along with 15 rebels in a special operation by government forces in the village of Samsoliq in the Nurobod district, about 135 kilometers east of Dushanbe.

The statement says the group's members come not just from Rasht and Badakhshan, the regions that backed the opposition during the 1992-97 civil war, but "from all corners of Tajikistan: from Khatlon, Sughd, Dushanbe, and Hissar."

The group urges Tajiks to rise up and overthrow Rahmon in a manner similar to how the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia were ousted.

Saidumar Husayni, a member of the lower house of the Tajik parliament and deputy head of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, said today he does not know of any Islamic group called Mujohidini Tojikiston.

But he recalled that during Tajikistan's civil war, a group of militants from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan joined the Taliban and fought in Afghanistan against the forces of the Northern Alliance led by Ahmad Shah Masud, who was an ethnic Tajik.

Husayni noted that these Uzbek militants called themselves Mujohidini Tojikiston to create the false impression that Tajiks were aligned against Masud.

Tajik affairs analyst Qosimshoh Bekmuhammad said the group appears to have foreign roots and its wants to portray Tajikistan as an unstable country.