• Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:09 pm

32 dead in Tajikistan prison riot

  • Published at 04:24 pm May 20th, 2019
Map of Tajikistan locating Vakhdat
Map of Tajikistan locating Vakhdat AFP

The prison in Vakhdat, 17km east of the capital Dushanbe, holds 1,500 inmates

At least 32 people were killed in a prison riot in Tajikistan, including 24 members of the Islamic State jihadist group and three guards, authorities said Monday.

Five inmates and the three guards were initially killed by prisoners in the riot that erupted on Sunday evening, and the others died in clashes with security forces trying to restore order, the justice ministry said in a statement.

The prison in Vakhdat, 17km east of the capital Dushanbe, holds 1,500 inmates. 

The ministry said the rioters first stabbed to death three guards, and then five other inmates "in order to intimidate" the others.

They then took other prisoners hostage before opening fire on the jail's medical facilities.

"Following a reprisal operation, 24 members of this group were killed and 35 others arrested. The hostages were freed" and calm restored to the prison, the statement said.  

Two of the prisoners murdered by the rioters were well-known activists of the banned opposition group Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, the local prison service said. 

Among the leaders of riot, authorities identified Bekhruz Gulmurod, the son of the former head of Tajik special forces who became a member of the IS leadership in Syria and was killed there in September 2017. 

The 20-year-old was sentenced to ten years in prison in July 2017 for attempting to join IS in Syria. He was previously detained at Dushanbe airport before boarding a flight to Istanbul.

Authorities said the prison was now functioning normally, with the "situation currently under control." 

The prison is a short drive from Dushanbe, with residential neighbourhoods nearby. It houses inmates convicted of various crimes, including terror and extremism charges, and is secured by armed guards.  

Families of inmates gathered near the prison on Monday to find out if their relatives were safe. 

In November 2018, another riot claimed by IS left 26 people dead in Khujand, a city in the northeast of the country. That riot was initiated by a former IS member seeking to spark a mass escape.  

Tajikistan, an impoverished mountainous country of just under 9 million people bordering Afghanistan, has suffered severe conflict since it gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Tens of thousands of people were killed in Tajikistan during a five-year civil war in the 1990s when rebel groups including Islamists rose up against the government.

Authorities in the majority-Muslim country have said that more than 1,000 Tajiks, including a high-ranking police officer who defected in 2015, joined IS in Syria and Iraq in recent years.

In July 2018, an attack on foreign cycling tourists left four dead and two injured. The assault was widely attributed to IS, although the government has refused to acknowledge the link.

51
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail