DUSHANBE -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon extended condolences Monday (July 30) in the wake of a deadly attack on foreign tourists.
Armed attackers killed two US nationals, a Swiss national and a Dutch national and wounded two others Sunday (July 29) in Danghara District, Khatlon Province, in what was originally reported as a hit-and-run incident, Asia-Plus reported.
The dead and wounded were part of a seven-person bicycling tour group that also included French nationals.
"[The suspects] had knives and firearms," Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda said.
"One tourist received a knife wound and is being given medical assistance. The victim's condition is stable," said Rahimzoda without mentioning nationality.
Another was hospitalised, while the French citizen survived without injury and was being questioned by the police, he added.
Two suspects in the case were killed after they "resisted arrest" and a further four have been detained, the minister said. The ministry later Monday said another suspect had been killed.
"We are considering all possibilities," Rahimzoda said of the criminal investigation, adding "we can't say if it is an act of terror".
However, the minister said that "state institutions are being guarded...to provide safety for citizens and tourists".
The US embassy in Dushanbe confirmed two of the fatalities were US citizens but did not disclose names.
Rahmon Monday sent notes of condolences to the United States, Switzerland and the Netherlands over the deaths. The appropriate Tajik agencies are taking all necessary measures to bring the culprits to justice, he emphasised.
"We are working with Tajik authorities in the ongoing investigation into the Danghara incident," Jeff Ridenour, a US embassy spokesman, told Asia-Plus Monday.