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19:34 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Death toll rises to 23 in shootout in Tajikistan (Update 1)

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At least 23 servicemen have died as assailants attacked by fire a military convoy on its way to the village of Garm, Tajikistan, a source from the Tajik law enforcement structures said.

At least 23 servicemen have died as assailants attacked by fire a military convoy on its way to the village of Garm, Tajikistan, a source from the Tajik law enforcement structures said.

"At least 10 servicemen have been injured and 23 died as a consequence of the attack," the source said.

"The convoy was attacked by members of the band of mullo Abdullo, who is one of the most uncompromising opponents of the Tajik government," the source added.

A sweep operation aimed at capturing dangerous criminals that have recently escaped from prison in Dushanbe is underway in the region, the source said.

Earlier, a source told RIA Novosti about a shootout in the Komarob ravine, lying some 100 kilometers (62 miles) away from Dushanbe. Several servicemen have been killed.

Tajik government has sent a helicopter, several armored vehicles and a landing team to aid the attacked servicemen.

 

DUSHANBE, September 19 (RIA Novosti)