DUSHANBE, February 6, Asia-Plus  - Mirzokhouja Ahmadov, the chief of the Rasht directorate for combating organized crime, does not consider himself to be guilty of a shootout that occurred in Gharm on February 2.

Ahmadov remarked this Tuesday afternoon, while talking to Asia-Plus’ correspondent by phone.  According to him, he was forced to open fire to defend himself.  He said that armed persons in masks attacked the directorate’s building on February 2. 

“We used firearms in accordance with the legislation, which provides for defending against a sudden attack,” Ahmadov said.  According to him, he saw several UAZ (Russian jeeps) with armed persons in camouflage and masks that drove up to the directorate’s building. 

“I suspected at once that they either servicemen of OMON (special police unit – Asia-Plus) or Alpha (special force unit of the State Committee for National Security or GKNB – Asia-Plus),” said Ahmadov, “Until the very last moment I thought that will conduct negotiations, but…”    

In the meantime, a statement released by the Ministry of Interior yesterday said that a working group of the ministry, comprising Colonel Rajabali Mahmadaliyev, the chief of the IOM directorate for combating organize crime, Colonel Oleg Zakharchenko, the commander of the IoM OMON, and a number of their subordinates, had been sent to Gharm to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the crime situation in Rasht Valley and the results of work carried out by the Rasht directorate for combating organized crime in 2007.