DUSHANBE, August 23, 2010, Asia-Plus – Unidentified gunmen have attacked pretrial detention facility # 1 in Dushanbe.

According to reliable source at the country’s power-wielding structures, the assailants attacked the prison overnight, at about 1:30 am, killing six wardens and freeing 25 prisoners.  No casualties were reported among the assailants, the source said.

“Among escapees are the brothers of Nemat Azizov, the sons of slain ex-Minister of Emergencies Mirzo Ziyoev, as well as several members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), nationals of Afghanistan and six persons having Russian citizenship that were convicted last week on charges of organization of illegal armed groups and other serious crimes,” said the source, “The majority of them are insurgents that fought the government forces in Tavildara district in July 2009.”

We will recall that Nemat Azizov – also known as Sheikh Nemat – and some of his followers were tracked down in Tavildara district in late July 2009.  Azizov reportedly refused to surrender and was killed in a shoot-out.

Nemat Azizov was one of field commanders of the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) during Tajikistan''s 1992-97 civil war.  After signing the peace treaty, Azizov and several others from the opposition joined the government.  Azizov served as head of the Emergency Situations Ministry’s office in Tavildara district.

Earlier in July 2009, Tajik law enforcement authorities blamed Azizov for the death of the ex-Minister of Emergencies and civil-war-era commander, Mirzo Ziyoev.  They also accused Nemat Azizov of murder in the deaths of several soldiers and of involvement in the drug business.

According to some sources, the escapees went to Rasht Valley (eastern Tajikistan) and they reportedly fired at police posts in Fayzobod and Nourobod districts, wounding several policemen.

All power-wielding and law enforcement structures of the country are reportedly put on alert and material and troops are being sent to the east of the country.

In the meantime, the source at the Ministry of Defense (MoD) says sending material and troops to the east of the country is a planned redeployment and is not connected with last night’s incident.