Top Security Tajik Official Killed In Khorog

Monday 1 May 2023 - 08:14

ISWNews Analysis Group – Head of the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan Kamran Rajabzade (Комрон Раҷабзода) was killed in the city of Khorog, capital of Gorno-Badakhshan province, during a confrontation between the intelligence forces of Tajikistan and unidentified militants.

According to a report by sources affiliated to the government of Tajikistan, Kamran Rajabzade was killed in the security district 184 under supervision of the Tishar checkpoint in the Gorno-Badakhshan province, an autonomous region in eastern Tajikistan, as a result of an armed conflict between the security forces and unidentified militants in Kharog town on May 8.

The sources mentioned that the exact number of the unidentified militants was eight, who illegally entered the territory of Tajikistan early on May 8th. They entered from the border areas of Afghanistan, but the Tajik security forces realized them and after hiding in an unspecified area started an attack on the infiltrators. The government sources also claim that three members of the militant group were detained and five others could flee to Afghanistan.

Khorog town, near the Afghanistan border

In accordance with the on the ground investigations of a field source of the ISWnews, there are three narratives on the incident:

1- The first version is the narrative of the government sources, saying that Kamran Rajabzade was killed in a patrol mission in the joint border areas with Afghanistan. Regarding the issue, it should be said that Rajabzade is the highest security official in Kharoug city; moreover, the head of border guard is under Rajabzade’s command; so, why should a senior security official patrol the borderline?

2- The second narrative mentions that Rajabzade had connection with drug and weapon traffickers and he was killed by those traffickers in a face-to-face meeting because of an armed conflict or after a dispute; therefore, the government of Tajikistan held Rajabzade’s burial ceremony incredibly in a speedy and compact way.

3- The third version of narration comes from local sources in Khorogh city. The top security officer was one of the main elements in suppressing the last year protests in Gorno-Badakhshan as well as the killing of opponents of President Emomali Rahmon’s government, including Mohammed Baker Mohammed Bakerov; therefore, Rajabzade was assassinated by opponents of the Tajik government. Seemingly the third narrative is somehow closer to the reality.

Furthermore, the border guards of Tajikistan shot at two unidentified armed persons on the border of Gorno-Badakhshan province with Afghanistan on April 26, when the people were trying to infiltrate into the soil of Tajikistan, and the incident left both armed individuals dead. A number of local sources in Afghanistan said that the armed people were elements of the Jamaat Ansarullah group in Tajikistan.

It should be mentioned that in the negotiations between the Taliban and representatives of the National Security Committee of Tajikistan in Khorog on March 24, the government of Tajikistan called for the extradition of Mohammad Sharif (also known as Mahdi Arsalan), the commander of Jamaat Ansarullah in Tajikistan, in return for handing over Afghanistan’s embassy in Dushanbe.

The Taliban rejected the request, and announced that it is committed to the transfer of the militants of the Jamaat Ansarullah of Tajikistan from the border towns of Gorno-Badakhshan province.

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