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Tajik man sentenced to 12 years in prison for joining IS in Syria


ISFARA, Tajikistan -- A court in Isfara Thursday (May 3) convicted a Tajik man of fighting alongside terrorists in Syria, Asia-Plus reported.

Abduvaqos Olimov, a 28-year-old resident of Navgilem (part of Isfara), was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison. His charges included mercenary activities and involvement in foreign armed conflicts.

Olimov joined "Islamic State" (IS) through the internet while doing migrant labour in Moscow, according to judge Komiljon Ganizoda, who presided over his trial.

He arrived in Syria via Turkey in November 2014 and underwent training at an IS training camp in al-Raqa, Ganizoda said.

Syrian authorities arrested Olimov and several other IS militants in November 2016 and held them for nine months before handing them over to Turkey, he said, adding that Olimov was deported to Tajikistan last November 15.

Between 2012-2016, at least 1,094 Tajik nationals joined IS, including about 200 women, according to Tajikistan's Interior Ministry.

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