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Video Allegedly Shows Tajik Fighter Who Officials Say Was Killed

A capture from a video that reportedly shows Tajik fighter Alovuddin Davlatov
DUSHANBE -- A video is circulating in Tajikistan that shows uniformed men questioning a man believed to be militant commander Alovuddin Davlatov (aka Ali Bedaki), RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The nearly four-minute video posted on YouTube shows a stripped-down, bearded man sitting in the backseat of a car being held by men in combat fatigues. One man questions him, addressing him as Ali Bedaki, while a second keeps a gun trained on him.

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

The unidentified questioner also asks him about the whereabouts of former opposition commander Abdullo Rahimov ("Mullo Abdullo"). The Tajik authorities identified Rahimov and Davlatov as having led the Kamarob attack.

The existence of the video appears to contradict an official Tajik explanation that Davlatov was killed on January 4 during a special joint operation in the Rasht district village of Runob by police, security forces, and soldiers from the Presidential Guard. That was what Tajik Interior Ministry spokesman Muhammadjon Narziev told RFE/RL last month.

Narziev said seven of Davlatov's fighters were also killed and one was captured alive. Narziev said the militants were hiding in a shed and refused to surrender when they were attacked.

Olim Odilov, a former opposition commander who knew Davlatov well, told RFE/RL today that the bearded man in the video is definitely Davlatov.

State Committee for National Security spokesman Nozirjon Buriev said he is aware of the existence of the video footage, but cannot comment on it.

Hikmatullo Sayfullozoda, an analyst from the Dushanbe-based Dialog Center, told RFE/RL the video proves the government did not tell the truth when it claimed Davlatov had been killed in battle.