KHUJAND, May 21, Asia-Plus - A regional prosecutor’s office in the Sughd province has completed investigation into criminal proceedings instituted against 14 residents of the Isfara district, alleged members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the case has moved to the Sughd regional court.  

According to the Sughd regional court, 14 defendants, including three women, face charges of terrorism, organization of criminal grouping, organization of illegal armed formation, public calls for overthrow of the constitutional order of Tajikistan, forging documents, murder and banditry.

The source at the Sughd prosecutor’s office said that they were detained last autumn.  According to him, one of the detained women is the wife of Rasoul Okhunov, regional leader of IMU, who was killed in Kyrgyzstan in May last year.  One of the defendants, Yusuf Rahmatov, also charged with having been involved in a raid on the border post Lakkon on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border in May 2006.  “He was driver of attackers,” the source said.  

We will recall that an armed group numbering more than six people on the night of May 11-12 attacked the Tajik border-crossing checkpoint Lakkon.   As a result of skirmish, two Tajik border guards were killed and one other was injured.  The assailants seized 19 sub-machine-guns, one machine-gun and cartridges.  They then headed to the Kyrgyz region of Batken.  When their Opel overturned, they hijacked a Mercedes Benz, killing the driver.  Along the way to Osh, 100 kilometers of Batken, the gunmen attacked a unit of the Kyrgyz border guards and customs officers near the village of Pungon, killing two border guards and injuring one customs officer.   

The source further added that the defendants are also suspected of having been involved in attack on three Sughd officials in September last year. 

We will recall that late on September 27 2006, a group of gunmen attacked a car carrying Isfara Deputy Mayor Sodiq Rustamov, the director of the Isfara chemical plant, Nizom Jurayev, and the director of the Isfara tannery, Sodir Ubaidulloyev.  The incident took place seven kilometers from Vorukh on the road to Isfara, in the Dostuk Qarh village, a Kyrgyz enclave surrounded by the Isfara district, when the officials were returning from Vorukh, a Tajik enclave in Kyrgyz territory, in Jurayev’s Nissan.  The assailants fired at the Nissan from another car and escaped.  The officials were wounded and taken to the hospital.