DUSHANBE, August 22, 2012, Asia-Plus – Imumnazar Imumnazarov, one of informal leaders of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), was reportedly shot to death by unidentified assailants in his home in Khorog overnight.

Reliable source says several his confederates, including his brother, were wounded.  They are currently in the regional hospital in Khorog.  “It is still unknown who attacked them,” the source noted.

Imumnazarov had been first group invalid over the past twenty years.

We will recall that the Prosecutor-General’s Office has officially accused Imumnazar Imumnazarov along with Tolib Ayombekov and Yodgor Mamadaslamov of trafficking in drugs and precious stones, establishing illegal armed groups and human trafficking.

Tajik law enforcement authorities still neither confirm not deny this information and refrain from commenting on this incident.  

We will recall that the clashes began in Khorog on July 24 when government forces launched a military operation against what it called “militants” following the murder of the regional security chief Abdullo Nazarov on July 21.

The authorities have blamed Tolib Ayombekov, a former warlord from the civil war, for the murder of Abdullo Nazarov.  Hundreds of troops have reportedly poured into Khorog to hunt down Ayombekov.

Authorities also accused Ayombekov of drug-trading and smuggling tobacco and precious stones.

Tolib Ayombekov has denied the accusations and said the government is using Nazarov''s death as a pretext for cementing its grip over Gorno Badakhshan.  Tolib Ayombekov surrendered to the authorities on August 12.

According to some media sources, fighting that occurred in Khorog last month has left at least 17 soldiers, 30 militants, and more than 20 civilians dead.

The authorities demand that people they consider responsible for the murder of the GBAO regional security chief be handed over to face justice.