DUSHANBE, October 19, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- A group of European ambassadors to Tajikistan are concluding their three-day visit to Khorog, the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) tomorrow.

According to the European Union (EU) Delegation to Tajikistan, Mr. Robin Jeremy Ord-Smith, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Tajikistan, Ms. Doris Hertrampf, Ambassador of Germany to Tajikistan, and Mr. Eduard Auer, Ambassador-Head of EU Delegation to Tajikistan, are currently in the region to get acquainted with the current socioeconomic and political situation in the region.

During the visit, European diplomats are also discussing with local authorities implementation of new projects in Gorno Badakhshan, the source said.

This visit is the first such trip by Western diplomats to Khorog, the scene of a recent bloody military operation.

We will recall that the clashes began in Khorog on July 24 when government forces launched a military operation against what it called “militants” following the murder of the regional security chief Abdullo Nazarov on July 21.

The authorities have blamed Tolib Ayombekov, a former warlord from the civil war who had been deputy chief of border unit in the Ishkashim district until recently, for the murder of the regional security chief Abdullo Nazarov.  Hundreds of troops have reportedly poured into Khorog to hunt down Ayombekov.

Authorities also accused Ayombekov of drug-trading and smuggling tobacco and precious stones.

Tolib Ayombekov has denied the accusations and said the government is using Nazarov''s death as a pretext for cementing its grip over Gorno Badakhshan.  Tolib Ayombekov surrendered to the authorities on August 12.

Another former filed commander of the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) in Gorno Badakhshan, Imomnazar Imomnazarov, was murdered by unknown assailants in his home in Khorog on August 22.

In September, the European Union expressed concern about the situation in Gorno-Badakhshan and demanded Tajik authorities allow international organizations and diplomatic missions to the region.