Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry has announced the commencement of “anti-terrorist” military operations on the Border with Afghanistan and China to combat terrorism.
Reuters also reported on Wednesday, May 18th, that the operation was launched in Gorno-Badakhshan region near the Tajik border with Afghanistan and China.
Several days of protests in Tajikistan’s Badakhshan province preceded the operation. The demonstrators claim that the governor and mayor of Badakhshan failed to appropriately prosecute the death of a civil activist in police custody, and that they should resign as a result.
Several protestors were hurt in conflicts between police and protesters, according to eyewitnesses. The Tajik Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that one protester was killed and three police officers were injured during the protests.
Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry has alleged that the protests in Badakhshan region are being organized by “international terrorist groups” that provide firearms and ammunition to Tajik demonstrators and their representatives in order for them to “carry out terrorist acts.”
Protesters, on the other hand, claim that their actions are nonviolent and protected by the law.
Tajik opposition groups overseas have appealed to Tajik officials to stop “suppressing peaceful protests” in Badakhshan.