Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 16:41 UK

Tajiks jailed for 'Taleban links'

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A Tajik court has jailed three men for between 18 and 22 years for membership of a militant Islamic group said to have fought for the Afghan Taleban.

The Supreme Court in Dushanbe was told the three Tajik nationals were active members of the Islamic Jihad Union.

They were said to have fought alongside the Taleban in Afghanistan before going into hiding in Pakistan.

Tajik security services say the group is an offshoot of another organisation, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

The three men, named as Zayniddin Nasurdinov, Abdurahim Abdulloyev and Olim Buzurukov, were arrested in Tajikistan early this year.

They had "actively participated in military operations in Afghanistan in the late 1990s and early 2000s on the Taleban side and committed a number of especially grave crimes", the Tajik state national security committee was quoted as saying by the Asia-Plus news agency.

It added that the three had lived in Pakistan with forged identity documents until last year.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan has been blamed for bombings and violent attacks in Uzbekistan, which neighbours Tajikistan, since the late 1990s.

More recently, militants from the group have been active in tribal areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.

Timeline: Tajikistan
03 Apr 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Uzbekistan
03 Apr 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Tajikistan
03 Apr 08 |  Country profiles

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