At least 30 militants were killed and 40 were arrested on Tuesday during a special operation in eastern Tajikistan against a mafia-style group believed to be linked to the murder of a top Tajik security official, Tajikistan's Interior Ministry and the National Security Committee said in a statement.
According to the official reports, eight Afghani citizens were among those detained, RIA Novosti reported.
Twelve Tajik security officers were reported to have been killed and another 25 injured during the operation, the statement reads.
The operation began in the early hours of Tuesday near the city of Khorog, the administrative center of Tajikistan's southern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region three days after the murder of Maj. Gen. Abdullo Nazarov, chief of the Tajikistan National Security Committee regional office.
His car was stopped by a group of unidentified persons several kilometers from Khorog, he was pulled out of the car and stabbed several times. The general died on the way to hospital.
Tajik authorities said an organized crime group involved in tobacco smuggling, drug trafficking, and other crimes, was behind Nazarov's murder.
The group blamed for the murder is led by Tolib Aiyembekov, a former border guard unit commander and warlord. Aiyembekov has reportedly fled to Afghanistan, police and security officials said.
No casualties among the civilians reported.