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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 15:52 GMT
Tajik rebels face firing squad
Tajikistan's Supreme Court has sentenced 11 Islamic militants to death and jailed 74 of their comrades after finding them guilty of murder and kidnapping.

The gang previously fought for the United Tajik Opposition under renegades Rahman Sanginov and Masur Muaklov, who were killed by government forces in 2001.

The impoverished Central Asian republic was ravaged by civil war in 1992-1997.

The chief military judge of the Tajik Supreme Court said the defendants were guilty of massacring civilians, hostage-taking, looting and terrorising the capital Dushanbe and other districts during and after the war.

The 11, who were sentenced to death at two separate trials, will face the firing squad.

One man was freed on health grounds while the others received jail terms ranging from 18 months to 25 years.

A Supreme Court spokesman said the gang had committed more than 400 murders and taken many hostages between 1995 and 2000.

The attacks were carried out despite a United Nations-brokered peace deal which ended five years of fighting between warring factions in the former Soviet republic in 1997.





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SEE ALSO:
New project to demine Tajikistan
18 Feb 03 |  Asia-Pacific
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12 Jul 02 |  Asia-Pacific
Tajik troops kill more guerillas
07 Jul 01 |  Asia-Pacific
Timeline: Tajikistan
05 Feb 03 |  Asia-Pacific



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