Former Tajik police chief appears in IS video

Updated 28 May 2015

Former Tajik police chief appears in IS video

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: A man claiming to be the former head of ex-Soviet Tajikistan’s special forces police division appeared in a video Wednesday saying he has joined the Islamic State militant group in Syria.
The man resembling Col. Gulmurod Khalimov, 40, who sparked panic after failing to report for duty in late April, says in the footage that he was driven to join the group by the impoverished state’s perceived anti-Islamic policies.
“We are coming for you,” he tells the Tajik government.
Tajikistan’s Ministry of the Interior refused to comment on the video which has been widely shared on social networks.
In the clip of over 10 minutes, which appears with the logo of the Furat media collective believed to be under the control of the Islamic State, Khalimov wears black clothing and headwear and totes what appears to be a sniper rifle.
Calling Tajikistan’s president and Interior Minister “dogs,” Khalimov asks soldiers in the country’s armed forces if they are “prepared to die” for a government that cracks down on public expressions of Islam such as hijab-wearing and praying in the street.
He also appeals to the more than one million Tajik nationals working in Russia to cease being “slaves” and join IS.
According to Tajik media, citing security sources, the colonel, who says he received formal military training in both Russia and the United States is believed to have flown to Moscow May 1 with “almost ten” people.
Tajikistan’s authoritarian and secular President Emomali Rakhmon, who oversaw the government’s victory against a coalition involving militant forces in a 1990s civil war, has said that “hell awaits” Muslims killing other Muslims.
But his government has been criticized by rights groups for everything from forced beard shavings to numerous convictions of believers on religious extremism grounds.


6 dead after man opens fire in Czech hospital waiting room

Updated 10 December 2019

6 dead after man opens fire in Czech hospital waiting room

  • The attacker opened fire at people’s heads from close range
  • Police published a photo of the suspect, having withdrawn an earlier photo of a different man

PRAGUE: Six people were killed in a shooting in a hospital in the eastern Czech Republic Tuesday, the prime minister said. Police said the suspect is at large and described him as armed and dangerous.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis told Czech public television the shooting took place around 7 a.m. in a waiting room. The attacker opened fire at people’s heads from close range, Babis said.

He said he was heading for the site, at the University hospital in the eastern city of Ostrava, 350 kilometers (220 miles) east of Prague.

Police said the man left in a silver-grey Renault Laguna car and called on the public not to try to stop him.

Police published a photo of the suspect, having withdrawn an earlier photo of a different man. They said that man was now considered to be a witness.

Video footage and pictures published by public radio showed police arresting a person at the site but that person did not appear to be the shooting suspect.

Officials say people have been evacuated from the clinic. Police are boosting security across the country.