Tajikistan insurgency

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Insurgency in Eastern Tajikistan
Eastern Tajikistan (shaded), Tajikistan
Date 19 September 2010 – August 2012
Location Eastern Tajikistan
Status Successful military operation leading to the surrender of opposition forces with their leader Tolib Ayombekov in August of 2012. No hostilities since 2012.

Flag of Tajikistan.svg Tajikistan

Flag of Jihad.svg United Tajik Opposition

Commanders and leaders
Emomali Rahmon Tolib Ayombekov (POW)
Alovuddin Davlatov 
Abdullo Rakhimov 
Mirzokhudzha Akhmadov
10,000 unknown
Casualties and losses
69-84 killed (2010)
20 killed (2012)
55+ killed

The Tajikistan Insurgency is a military conflict which took place in eastern Tajikistan between the Tajik army and Islamist militants, led by numerous leaders from the Tajik civil war.



On 19 September, more than 25 Tajik soldiers were killed in an ambush by suspected Islamist fighters, allied with the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan. The soldiers were part of a 75-man convoy moving through the Rasht Valley, in eastern Tajikistan. They were ambushed while searching for members of the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan who previously escaped from a detention prison in Dushanbe on 25 August. The military column was ambushed by gunmen around midday local time, while passing through the mountainous Rasht Valley, approximately 250 km (150 miles) east of the capital. The column sustained heavy fire from machine-guns and grenade launchers, in the mountains from above. Initial reports indicated that 40 soldiers were killed but the Tajik minister of defense denied this. Five Tajik officers were among the dead. None of the attackers were reported to have been killed or wounded. [1][2]

On 4 October, 5 Tajik soldiers along with two insurgents were killed during a military operation in Rasht Valley. The incident occurred, when a vehicle was stopped at a military checkpoint on the road between Garm and Dushanbe. As the soldiers approached the car, gunmen opened fire killing five of them and wounding an additional three more. The soldiers retaliated opening fire at the vehicle, killing the two attackers. Among the dead was a high ranked Tajik officer. Meanwhile, dozens of caches of heavy weapons including grenade launchers, as well as food and medication were discovered in an abandoned Islamist hideout. Twelve military checkpoints were set on the roads leading from the administered region of Rasht to the capital Dushambe.[3][4]

On 7 October, 34 Tajik soldiers were killed in two separate incidents during a military operation against Islamist fighters in eastern Tajikistan. Twenty-eight soldiers were killed when a military helicopter crashed in a possible militant strike. High ranked Tajik officials claimed the helicopter was shot down by a missile fired by Islamist from their mountain hideouts, however the ministry of defense said the helicopter hit a power line, sending it crashing into a river. The helicopter was bringing service men from the capital Dushanbe to the Rasht Valley to take part in the operation. Meanwhile, another 6 soldiers were killed in a separate incident caused by an accidental mine explosion.[5]

On 18 October, three suspected insurgents were killed by Tajik soldiers on the outskirts of Garm, located near the Afghan border during a military operation.[6]

On 1 December, gunmen shot and killed 3 Tajik soldiers in the village of Dulona-Maidon in the Buljuvon Region, 150 kilometers southeast of Dushanbe.[7]

On 27 December, 2 Tajik soldiers were killed when a group of thirty Islamists tried to enter Tajikistan from the Afghan border. After three hours of fighting, a combat helicopter arrived, opening fire on the intruders forcing them to retreat into Afghanistan. Local residents said that three Tajik soldiers were killed with two being the victims of friendly-fire from the helicopter. The Tajik military however claims no one was killed by friendly fire. Several Islamists were also killed in the attack.[8]


On 4 January, Tajik authorities claimed Alovuddin Davlatov was killed along with seven other insurgents when Tajik security forces launched a special joint operation on his hideout in the town of Runob.[9]

On 14 April, Mullah Abdullah a key opposition commander, along with ten other Islamists were killed by Tajik soldiers during a search operation for militants in the village of Samsolid, 135 kilometers east of Dushanbe.[10]


On 21 July, the head of the Tajik Intelligence agency was assassinated by insurgents in the city of Ishkashim. The Tajik government then launched a joint military operation on the 25 July in the city of Khorog with the aim of capturing Tolib Ayombekov, who was said to be behind the 21 July killing and the 19 September ambush. More than 800 Tajik soldiers and several combat helicopters took part in the operation that lasted one day until Tajik president Emomali Rahmon halted all immediate operations in the area on the 25th. At the end of the day, more than 20 Tajik soldiers were killed and countless numbers were wounded. It's unknown the exact number of militants and civilians killed but military sources claimed more than 30 insurgents along with 30 civilians were killed. The operation was considered to be a success with Ayombekov and his army surrendering themselves to Tajik authorities in August.


  1. ^ "BBC News - Tajikistan says restive east is under control". Bbc.co.uk. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  2. ^ "Tajikistan Blames Islamist Militants For Attack That Killed 25 Soldiers". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  3. ^ "Worries Grow As Tajik Government Continues Operation Against Militants". Rferl.org. 2010-10-04. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "Tajikistan Says Kills Three Suspected Islamist Militants". Rferl.org. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  7. ^ "Tajik Forces Search For Armed Militants After Deaths". Rferl.org. 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  8. ^ "Tajik Guards Killed In Fight On Afghan Border". Rferl.org. 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  9. ^ "Video Allegedly Shows Tajik Fighter Who Officials Say Was Killed". Rferl.org. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  10. ^ "Tajikistan Claims Militant Leader Killed". Rferl.org. 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2013-10-15.