Tajik police arrest 5 in connection with IS-claimed bicyclist slayings


DUSHANBE -- Tajik police Thursday (August 16) said that they arrested five suspects in Norak in connection with the deadly attack last month on foreign cyclists, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.

A group of five assailants rammed their car on July 29 into a group of foreign cyclists in Danghara District, about 100km from Dushanbe, then got out of the car and stabbed to death four of them -- two Americans, a Swiss national and a Dutch national. Two other cyclists were injured.

"Islamic State" (IS) claimed responsibility.

In the aftermath of the slayings, Tajik police killed four of the five suspected attackers and arrested the alleged ringleader, Hussein Abdusamadov.

Last week, police in Norak arrested five men for failing to warn police of a possible crime, said Abdurahmon Gulov, a local official.

Two brothers from Norak -- Asliddin and Jafar Yusupov, who were among the suspected attackers killed -- reportedly called upon the five arrested men via WhatsApp to join their terrorist cell.

Tajik authorities have also ordered 20 Tajik citizens to return from Russia for questioning regarding possible links with the five suspected killers, Gulov said.

Abdusamadov returned to Tajikistan about three months ago from doing migrant labour in Russia.

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