The Tajik authorities continue claiming that the attack on foreign cyclists in the Danghara district was planned and carried out by the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT).  The authorities’ insistence on blaming the IRPT comes despite the release two days after the attack of a video showing the attackers swearing loyalty to the Islamic State (IS) terror group and posted on the Internet by the IS group’s Amaq agency.

A statement released by the press center of the Tajik Prosecutor-General’s Office on August 4, in particular, notes that a video purportedly showing the men swearing allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) terror group was a ruse with the aim to deflect suspicion from the IRPT, which masterminded this act of terror.     

This terrorist act aimed to destabilize the situation in the country, create the atmosphere of fear and panic in society and cause damage to the image of the country on international arena, says the statement.

The Tajik authorities released the names of five men they say carried out a July 29 attack that left four foreign cyclists dead and three injured.

The August 4 statement said that Hussein Abdusamadov -- who is accused of being the ringleader of the group -- was detained and the other four men were killed during a police operation to capture them on the night of July 29-30.

Prosecutors identified the five suspects as Abdusamadov, Asomiddin Majidov, and Zafar Safarov from Panj District and two brothers from the city of Nurek, Asliddin and Jaffar Yusupov.

The statement says all five were members of the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan. 

Besides, ten residents of Nurek have also reportedly been detained in connection with the Danghara incident.   

The IRPT leadership has called the authorities' claims “baseless and irrational,” as well as “shameless and illogical slander,” according Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service.

Recall, the attack on a group of foreign cyclists on July 29 in the Danghara district claimed the lives of two Americans, a Dutchman, and a Swiss citizen.  Three other foreigners -- one Dutch, one Swiss, and one French -- were injured.