Breakout from Khujand jail linked to radical Islamism

20/06/2016 10:29
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, June 20, 2016, Asia-Plus – Three prisoners killed a prison guard and tried to break out of a jail in the northern city of Khujand on June 17.

According to a statement released by the Interior Ministry of Tajikistan on June 18, the prison breakout occurred at 8:45 pm.  One man was shot dead while trying to flee the prison.  Another prisoner was wounded and captured during the breakout while the third managed to escape, despite sustaining injuries, the statement said.

The third escapee was detained on June 19.

A source at one of law enforcement agencies of Tajikistan told Asia-Plus that a 52-year-old Colonel Yormamad Alimamadov was stabbed to death during the escape.  According to the source, the fugitives were plotting to cross over to Afghanistan and possibly attempt to join the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

The fugitives were named as Ramzullokhon Dodokhonov, Habibjon Yusupov, and Mirzo Qayumov.

Dodokhonov was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2013 for allegedly participating in militant activities in Pakistan’s tribal region of Waziristan.

Qayumov was serving a 14-year jail sentence handed down in December for fighting alongside Islamist radicals in Iraq.

Habibjon Yusupov was also sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2014 for participation in the robbery of a money exchange point that culminated with the death of an employee.

Qayumov was shot dead by guards as he was trying to flee.  Yusupov was wounded and detained.  Dodokhonov incurred injuries too, but managed to escape.

“The wounded prisoner, who is currently in a hospital, said that they were planning to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” the source said.

Dodokhonov was detained in a joint operation by officers of the Interior Ministry, the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) and the Penitentiary Department of the Ministry of Justice on June 19 in the Bobojonghafourov district of the Sughd province. 

Meanwhile RIA-Novosti news agency (Russia) cited the deputy head of the State Committee for National Security, Mansourjon Umarov, as saying that the group was planning to flee to Afghanistan, but adding nothing about Islamic State.

We will recall that Khudoberdi Kholiqnazar, director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, noted last year that some member of radical Islamist groups were intentionally committing crimes so they could get into prison and spread their message while there.

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