KHUJAND, Tajikistan -- A Tajik Interior Ministry official says four suspected members of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) were killed and some 50 others arrested in northern Tajikistan last year, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
General Sharif Nazarov, Interior Ministry head in the northern Sughd Province, said on January 17 that militants were particularly active in the autumn when the Tajik Army conducted operations against them in the country's central Rasht district.
Nazarov said some IMU activists and members of the banned Islamic movement Hizb ut-Tahrir provide financial support to those groups by working abroad and sending remittances.
He noted that at least five suspected IMU members working in Russia were arrested there last year, while three others are still being investigated.
A resident in the northern Tajik town of Isfara told RFE/RL the IMU and Hizb ut-Tahrir provide financial support to their members. He said there are IMU members in his town and poverty is a main reason many young people join the banned movements.
Tajik affairs analyst Jura Yusufi told RFE/RL that the Tajik government does not use the state media in an effective manner against the Islamic groups.