23 soldiers killed in ambush in Tajikistan

September 20, 2010 06:20


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DUSHANBE, Tajikistan— A military spokesman in Tajikistan says at least 23 soldiers have been killed after a convoy was attacked by Islamic militants.

The Sunday attack comes amid rising tension following a string of terrorist blasts and a large-scale prison escapes by Islamist insurgents and government opponents.

Defense Ministry spokesman Faridun Makhmadaliyev said Monday the military convoy was heading for eastern Rasht district, an area near the border with Afghanistan, when it was ambushed in a valley.

Makhmadaliyev says the gunmen included citizens from Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well fighters from the volatile southern Russian region of Chechnya.

No details were immediately available whether any of the gunmen were killed or captured.

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