Deadly clashes erupt in Tajikistan
July 26, 2012 -- Updated 0032 GMT (0832 HKT)
Pamiri people in New York on Wednesday protest the military operations in Tajikistan.
- Government forces clashed with opposition fighters in Gorno-Badakshan region
- At least 42 people were killed
- Tensions have run high in the area; ethnic Pamiris have been at odds with the government
- The region was a stronghold for Islamist rebels during a bloody civil war
(CNN) -- Fighting erupted Tuesday in an autonomous region of Tajikistan after central government forces moved in on a former opposition warlord believed to be behind the killing of a top security general.
At least 12 soldiers and 30 opposition fighters were killed, said a statement from Tajikistan's security service. It said the military operation was continuing.
Residents described continuous gunfire in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno-Badakshan region, which borders Afghanistan. They said they believed the number of casualties was higher than the official toll.
Gorno-Badakshan was cut off Tuesday after communication lines, including cell phones and internet service, was severed.
The violence stemmed from the death of Maj. Gen. Abdullo Nazarov, head of the regional branch of the State Committee on National Security, a successor to the Soviet KGB.
Nazarov's car was stopped by a group of unidentified people, according to Ria-Novosti, a Russian state-run news service. Nazarov was pulled out of the car and stabbed several times. He died on the way to hospital, Ria-Novosti said.
Police arrested two suspects but were still seeking Tolib Ayombekov, the suspected leader of a smuggling ring of tobacco, precious jewels, and drugs, said the Central Asian News Service.
The news agency said Ayombekov refused to surrender to police and instigated the attack against government forces.
Tajikistan gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 but has been troubled ever since by bloody war, widespread corruption and poverty.
Tensions remain high between the Tajik government in Dushanbe and the people of Gorno-Badakshan, who are of the Pamiri ethnic minority.
The region was a stronghold of Islamist rebels during a five-year civil war in the 1990s that claimed thousand of lives. The war also divided people along ethnic and regional lines, and the Pamiris, by and large, sided with the opposition.
A United Nations-brokered peace plan left President Emomali Rakhmon's secular government in place but gave some of his Islamist opponents official jobs.
But Rakhmon, backed by Moscow, has sought to consolidate power and stamp out remnants of radical Islam.
Khorog residents said they received no warning of Tuesday's fighting. People panicked as gunfire rang out.
Journalist Mirzojalol Shohjamolov said a group of residents gathered in front of Khorog Square, near the government building, with signs that said: "Stop military actions in Khorog."
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
February 8, 2013 -- Updated 0718 GMT (1518 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
Today's five most popular stories