The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group on July 30 claimed responsibility for the killing of four foreign cyclists in the Danghara district (Khatlon province) last Sunday, meanwhile Tajik authorities blame the banned Islamic Renascence Party (IRPT) for the deadly attack on foreign tourists in Danghara.

A statement released by the Interior Ministry on July 31 says that that terrorist attack was ordered by the IRPT activist Nosirkhouja Ubaidov, also known Qori Nosir.

The leader of the ring, Husein Abdusamadov, who was detained Sunday evening, reportedly confirmed that he underwent ideological and military-commando training in Iran in 2014-2015.  According to the statement, Abdusmadov met with Nosirkhouja Ubaidov in Iran and joined the IRPT. 

Hsein Abdusamadov; photo/Interior Ministry press cneter

The statement says member of the group, Asliddin Yusufov, was killed Sunday evening while resisting arrest.  He reportedly wounded OMON (special police unit) deputy commander. Lieutenant-Colonel Jumakhon Nazarzoda, with an axe.

Three other members of the group – Asomiddin Majidov, Zafar Safarov and Jaffriddin Yusufov – were reportedly killed on July 30 in the village of Osmondara (Danghara district) while resisting arrest.  They reportedly were armed with knives and axes. 

Two residents of the city of Kulob, Dilovar Sharipov and Jamshed Nazarov, as well as resident of the Jayhun district (Khatlon province), Vaisiddin Sayfiddinov, were detained on suspicion of involvement in the attack.               

detaned criminals

Resident of the city of Nurek, Karomatullo Ghaniyev, was arrested on suspicion of financing that criminal group. 

Recall, four foreign cyclists, including two Americans, one Dutchman and a Swiss citizens, were killed during a bike tour in Danghara district on July 29.  They were attacked by at least one assailant with a gun and knife after being run down by a vehicle.  Three other foreigners -- including a French citizen -- were also injured in the attack.

The incident took place at around 3:30 pm in the Sebiston jamoat, some 150 kilometers south of Dushanbe.

Founded in October 1990, the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan was the only Islamic party officially registered in former Soviet Central Asia.  The IRPT was registered on December 4, 1991.  It was banned by the Supreme Court in June 1993 and legalized in August 1999.

Since 1999, the party had reportedly been the second-largest party in Tajikistan after the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan.

In the 2005 and 2010 parliamentary elections, the IRPT won two out of 63 seats in the parliament, but the party suffered a crushing defeat in Tajikistan’s March 2015 vote, failing to clear the 5 percent threshold needed to win parliament seats.

Tajikistan’s Supreme Court banned the Islamic Revival Party as terrorist group on September 29, 2015 on the basis of a suit filed by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.  The Supreme Court ruled that the IRPT should be included on a blacklist of extremist and terrorist organizations.  The verdict forces the closure of the IRPT’s official newspaper Najot and bans the distribution of any video, audio, or printed materials related to the party’s activities.

Dozens of the IRPT officials and members have been imprisoned.

Shermuhammad Shohiyon, the head of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan, told reporters in Dushanbe on February 1 this year that the Supreme Court has put IRPT leader Muhiddin Kabiri on trial in absentia.  In 2017, Tajikistan amended legislation to let courts try and sentence suspects in absentia.

Party leader Muhiddin Kabiri, who now is in self-imposed exile abroad, denies any wrongdoing or involvement in the violence.