Western tourists killed in Tajikistan

31 July, 2018, 22:56 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Four tourists were killed including two Americans and another three injured on a bike tour in southern Tajikistan in Central Asia on Sunday when a car hit them before fleeing the scene authorities said

Tajikistan's interior minister said the assailants were armed with knives and guns; Tajikistan's Asia-Plus media group reported that three suspects were killed in a confrontation with police in the village of Osmondara.

The tourists, two from the U.S., and others from Switzerland and the Netherlands, were killed on Sunday as they were cycling through a rural area 90 kilometres south-east of the capital Dushanbe.

He said police had detained one suspect and killed another one who resisted arrest.

Among the four suspects killed was the owner of the auto, which police believe hit the tourists as they were cycling through a rural area 90 kilometres south-east of the capital Dushanbe.

The Dutch foreign ministry told AFP on Monday that one of the dead tourists was a 56-year-old man who was cycling the route with his 58-year-old partner, without providing names.

The US embassy in Tajikistan confirmed that two of the fatalities were American citizens.

The Tajik government accused a banned Islamist party of being behind the attack and the Islamic State also claimed responsibility.

"(The suspects) had knives and firearms", said interior minister Ramazon Hamro Rahimzoda, adding that two other cyclists, Swiss and Dutch nationals, were injured and hospitalised. Three others in the same group survived the attack, including one with a knife wound, officials said. The stab victim, whose nationality was not given, was in a stable condition.

The seven cyclists were apparently run over by a man in a vehicle who then fled.

But the Russian state news agency Interfax cited a statement from Tajikistan's Interior Ministry blaming the attack on the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, a local party that was banned several years ago for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.

Separately, an ISIS-affiliated group also took responsibility for the incident. Tajik President Emomali Rahmon sent the leaders of each country a telegram expressing condolences Monday.

The allegation comes after ISIL, on Monday, claimed a "detachment from the soldiers of the Caliphate" carried out the attack against "citizens of Crusader coalition countries" without offering details or evidence of their involvement.

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