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At least 23 soldiers killed in Tajikistan

[ 2010-09-21 13:00]     字号 [] [] []  
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At least 23 soldiers were killed in Tajikistan after a convoy was ambushed by heavily armed Islamic militants - a devastating blow that will shake this impoverished nation lying on Afghanistan's poorly secured northern border.

The military convoy was heading for eastern Rasht district, an area near the border with Afghanistan, when it was attacked in a valley on Sunday, Defense Ministry spokesman Faridun Makhmadaliyev said on Monday.

The attackers were led by Mullo Abdullo, a radical Islamic commander who came to prominence during the civil war that devastated this former Soviet republic in the 1990s, Makhmadaliyev said.

Abdullo fled to Afghanistan after the end of the civil war in 1997, but he is believed to have returned to his native country some time last year in an effort to overthrow the government led by President Emomali Rakhmon.

Many soldiers were seriously wounded and evacuated for treatment after Sunday's ambush, Makhmadaliyev said.

The attack comes amid rising tension following a string of terrorist blasts and a large-scale prison escapes by Islamist insurgents and government opponents.

The gunmen are believed to have included citizens from Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well fighters from the volatile southern Russian region of Chechnya, Makhmadaliyev said.

No details were immediately available whether any of the gunmen were killed or captured.

Most Islamist fighters gave up armed resistance after reaching an uneasy peace settlement with the government. But many returned with a hard-line anti-government position over concerns they were being squeezed out of official positions granted to them as part of the peace agreement.

Military activity in the remote and mountainous Rasht Valley, where Abdullo is believed to have taken refuge, has picked up in recent weeks as authorities seek to capture 18 men still on the run after a dramatic prison breakout last month.


1. How many soldiers were killed?

2. Who is the president?

3. How many men did authorities capture last month?


1. 23.

2. Emomali Rakhmon.

3. 18.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

At least 23 soldiers killed in Tajikistan

At least 23 soldiers killed in Tajikistan

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.