Tajikistan: full control of rebel district regained
Officials in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan on Wednesday announced government forces had established full control of a restive district after a military campaign lasting nearly a year, DPA reported.
The army and police lost 28 men in ten months of fighting and raids in the Rashta district, some 180 kilometres to the east of the Tajik capital Dushanbe, said Interior Minister Abdurakhim Kakhkharov.
Government troops, in a campaign beginning in September, killed 55 suspected "terrorists" in the campaign, and detained 14 members of the Muslim extremist group Hizb-ut-Tahir and 18 members of the separatist group Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, he said.
Independent news reports placed government losses in the campaign at more than 70 people.
Tajikistan's Rashta district became a centre of anti-government resistance in September 2010 when insurgents, according to some reports, allied with a group of escaped convicts, ambushed troops moving through the region.
Dushanbe officials in the following months alleged bandits in the territory had allied with Islamic separatists, and ethnic Uzbeks wanting the region to join Uzbekistan to fight Tajikistan's forces.
Tajikistan is one of the poorest nations in the world and a major transit corridor for narcotics moving from Afghanistan to Europe.