Dushanbe: At least 32 people were killed in a prison riot in Tajikistan, including 24 members of the Islamic State jihadist group and three guards. Five inmates and the three guards were initially killed by prisoners in the riot that erupted on Sunday evening, and the others died in clashes with security forces trying to restore order, the justice ministry said in a statement.
The prison in Vakhdat, 17 kilometres (11 miles) east of the capital Dushanbe, holds 1,500 inmates. The ministry said the rioters first stabbed to death three guards, and then five other inmates “in order to intimidate” the others. They took other prisoners hostage before opening fire in the jail’s medical facilities.
“Following a reprisal operation, 24 members of this group were killed and 35 others arrested. The hostages were freed” and calm restored, the statement said. Two of the prisoners murdered by the rioters were well-known activists of the banned opposition group Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, the local prison service said.
Among the leaders of the riot, authorities identified Bekhruz Gulmurod, the son of the former head of Tajik special forces who became a member of the IS leadership in Syria and was killed there in September 2017. The 20-year-old was sentenced to ten years in prison in July 2017 for attempting to join IS in Syria. He was previously detained at Dushanbe airport before boarding a flight to Istanbul.
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