Tajik forces kill al Qaeda-linked commander

Tajik security forces have killed an “al Qaeda member” during a recent raid in the Rasht Valley in eastern Tajikistan. From Reuters:

“Aloviddin Davlatov has been destroyed. He was an al Qaeda member,” Tokhir Normatov, chief of staff at Tajikistan’s interior ministry, told Reuters, referring to the militant accused of leading the attack on government troops.

“We now have to destroy Mullah Abdullo,” Normatov said in a reference to another rebel leader who is still at large.

Davlatov also went by the name of Ali Bedaki, and served as “field commander” for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an al Qaeda affiliate that operates in Central Asia. Some IMU commanders have integrated with the Taliban’s shadow government in the Afghan north, and have been heavily targeted by US and Afghan special operations forces.

Davlatov and Abdullo, another IMU commander, are said to have led the group that carried out the Sept. 19, 2010 ambush in the Rasht Valley that killed 25 Tajik troops. On Sept. 23, the IMU claimed credit for the attack and vowed to carry out further strikes in Tajikistan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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