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Tajik Security Forces Kill Insurgent

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Tajik security forces killed a fugitive Islamist insurgent and arrested another in an armed standoff, Tajikistan's Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

A policeman was also killed during a special operation that took place in a village in the mountainous eastern Tavildara district on Monday, Interior Ministry chief of staff Tohir Normatov said.

The two militants were among 25 inmates who fled from a high-security detention facility last August after a daring breakout in the capital, Dushanbe, in which six prison guards were killed. All but one of the escaped convicts have been either killed or recaptured.

Police attempted to arrest the two men but faced armed resistance, after which they opened fire, Normatov said.

Normatov said two Kalashnikov assault rifles and a Makarov pistol were also seized during the operation.

Two police were also wounded in the clash, Normatov said.

Tajikistan, which shares a long and poorly defended border with Afghanistan, has been plagued in recent years by an Islamist-inspired insurgency in the remote eastern Rasht Valley.

Tajikistan's security forces have scored a number of notable successes in the conflict this year, including the killing in April of elusive militant leader Abdullo Rakhimov, also known by his nom de guerre Mullo Abdullo. Fourteen other militants were also killed during the same raid.

Authorities say militants led by Rakhimov carried out last year's ambush on a military convoy in which at least 25 soldiers were killed.

In January, authorities reported killing Islamist fighter Alovuddin Davlatov, who was also believed to have been involved in the military convoy attack.

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