Dushanbe Clashes Leave 22 Dead
The interior ministry said nine policemen were killed in gun attacks in the town of Vahdat just outside Dushanbe, and at a central interior ministry building.
Officials blamed sacked Deputy Defence Minister Abdukhalim Nazarzoda, saying he was leading a “terrorist group”.
They said 13 of the attackers were killed and 32 detained.
The US embassy said it had closed and warned that the clashes “may be precursors to other acts of violence”.
In a statement given to a state-owned news agency, the interior ministry said that early on Friday morning an “organised criminal group” had launched armed attacks on Vahdat’s internal affairs department and on the central government building in Dushanbe.
“As a result, a large amount of weapons and ammunition were seized and taken away by that terrorist group,” the statement said.
The statement added that “a group of terrorists” led by Gen Nazarzoda had fled towards the Romit Gorge area and that authorities were searching for him and his accomplices.
A later statement said Gen Nazarzoda was hiding in the Romit Gorge with “seven or eight followers”.
The unrest is rare for Tajikistan and comes after recent renewed controversy over the role of Islam in public life in the country, which is majority Muslim but has had a secular political order since independence.