An ISIS-linked inmate is suspected to be an instigator of a prison riot that left more than 25 people killed in a high security prison in northern Tajikistan, according to media reports.
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Violence broke out at the prison in the second-largest Tajik city of Khujand late on Wednesday. The prisoners joined a fellow inmate, allegedly an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militant, who attacked an officer and took away his weapon, Sputnik and Reuters reported citing security officials.
Rioters reportedly managed to take over one of the buildings of the facility, before special forces intervened and regained control.
The total of 27 people were killed, including 25 inmates, a prison employee and a special forces officer, according to Sputnik. Six guards were also injured.
The incident has left the city’s security forces on high alert, and all the roads from and into the area are under special control. The fact that the riot might have been inspired by an ISIS militant adds to the concerns that the terrorist organization is active in Tajikistan, a Central Asian country bordering Afghanistan.
In July, four Western tourists were killed in the country in an attack claimed by ISIS. Moscow has warned that after the defeat of terrorists in Syria, the region might be next target on their list.
In 2017, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that ISIS build up on the Central Asian republics’ borders is a matter of grave concern.
Russia’s FSB has warned of the terrorist threat, including from ISIS members, that can come to Russia from Central Asia as the terrorists might be trained in Afghanistan. Last year, the security services thwarted a series of terrorist attacks planned by a group coming from Central Asia. The attacks were to target the presidential vote and New Year’s festivities in Moscow region.
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