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Tajik Official Gives New Details Of Ali Bedaki's Death

Controversy still surrounds the death of Tajik Islamic militant leader Alovuddin Davlatov (aka Ali Bedaki)
Controversy still surrounds the death of Tajik Islamic militant leader Alovuddin Davlatov (aka Ali Bedaki)
DUSHANBE -- Tajik Security Council Secretary Amirqul Azimov has given details about the death of Islamic militant leader Alovuddin Davlatov that differ from an earlier official version of his killing in January by security forces, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Azimov told RFE/RL on April 4 that Davlatov, known as Ali Bedaki, was captured alive but was wounded and died en route to a hospital.

Tajik Interior Ministry spokesman Muhammadjon Narziev had told RFE/RL in February that Bedaki was killed on January 4 in a shootout during a special joint operation in the Rasht district village of Runob involving police, security forces, and soldiers from the Presidential Guard.

Azimov said he was in Runob where Bedaki and other members of his militant group were hiding in a shed. He said they refused to surrender and were attacked. Azimov said Bedaki was seriously wounded and was being taken to the hospital when he died of his injuries.

Those versions are contradicted by a video that circulated in Tajikistan showing uniformed men questioning a man -- who is identified as Bedaki -- being held prisoner by security forces.

The nearly four-minute video shows a stripped-down, bearded man in the back seat of a car being held by men in combat fatigues. One man in the car questions him, addressing him as Ali Bedaki, while another man keeps a gun aimed at him.

The man asks him about the September 2010 attack on a military convoy in the Kamarob Valley in the Rasht district, east of Dushanbe, which left 28 soldiers dead.

The unidentified questioner also asks him about the whereabouts of former opposition commander Abdullo Rahimov, known as Mullo Abdullo.

Tajik officials had identified Bedaki and Mullo Abdullo as having led the Kamarob attack.

The man addressed as Bedaki refused to answer the questions. He had no signs of any injuries.

Azimov told RFE/RL that the video must either have been faked or was filmed sometime before January 4.

Meanwhile, Azimov said local officials are to blame for the violence last fall in the Rasht district between Islamic militants and government forces. He said district authorities failed to react properly to the situation and did not report the unrest to state officials in time.

Azimov added that some 90-95 percent of the militants in Rasht have either been captured or killed and that security officials have information about where Mullo Abdullo is hiding but cannot give more information until he is detained or killed.