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Home / World / ISIS claims Tajikistan's attack on cyclist tour group that killed 2 Americans, shows alleged attackers' allegiance pledges

ISIS claims Tajikistan's attack on cyclist tour group that killed 2 Americans, shows alleged attackers' allegiance pledges



MOSCOW – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken responsibility for an attack in Tajikistan that killed four bicycle tourists, including two Americans, at the weekend . The terrorist group released a video Tuesday allegedly showing the five men pledging the attack on their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Tajik police earlier published a statement blaming a banned Islamist political party for the attack A driver reportedly rammed his car into the group of foreign cyclists and then joined his passengers in chasing them with knives.

ISIS blamed the attack in a generic statement on Monday and showed no link on Tuesday when the group spread the two-minute and forty-second video, in which five young men sit under a tree on a hilltop Tajik with Arabic subtitles languages ​​that made allegiance to al-Baghdadi, but said nothing specific about offensive plans.

Authorities in the former Soviet republic in Central Asia said on Monday that they are considering an extremist conspiracy among possible motives for the attack.

  Remote Cycling on the M41 Pamir Highway, Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan

Photo Photo shows a touring bike along the M41 Pamir Highway in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan.

iStockphoto

According to local police, a Daewoo limousine is plowed into the group of seven foreign cyclists about 60 miles south of the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Sunday. The people in the vehicle "got out of the car and stabbed the cyclists with knives," said the US embassy in Tajikistan on Monday.

Four of the cyclists died and three others, including a Swiss woman, were injured. Tajikistan officials said:

Two of the victims were Americans, one was Swiss and another was from the Netherlands, said foreign and Tajik officials. Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon sent a condolence letter to leaders of every country on Monday

Kevin Covert, US custodian in Tajikistan, met people at the American embassy in Dushanbe who had come to pay tribute to the victims of the attack.

  TAJIKISTAN TOURISM CRIMINATION

US Attorney Kevin Covert (R) speaks at the US Embassy in Dushanbe with a man about the victims of a fatal attack on July 31, 2018.

Getty
Citing the confession of a detained suspect, the Tajik Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that the Sunday leader had been trained in Iran and the group was planning to flee to Afghanistan after the attack, according to Reuters agency news. The Ministry accused the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) for the attack. This group was banned in 2015, accused of planning a coup d'état.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, said four suspects were killed and one arrested on Monday. According to Reuters, four other people were arrested on Tuesday for alleged connections.

Interior Minister Ramazon Rakhimzoda told reporters earlier that one of the survivors had knife wounds and the police found knives and weapons with some of the suspects. He described the car accident as "an attack" and said that the investigators investigated all possibilities, including a traffic accident, murder and terrorism.

The State Department issued a statement Monday condemning a so-called "pointless attack". Deep condolences to the families of those killed, the department said it could not provide more information about US citizens because of "privacy concerns," but US officials worked closely with Tajik authorities.

Spokeswoman for the Swiss Foreign Ministry Silvia Mueller said that the circumstances of the accident are unclear The Swiss Government's travel report for Tajikistan notes that there is a risk of attack and poor road conditions in Central Asia

"If it turned out to be an act of terrorism, it would be recorded in the travel advice. Mueller said.

The State Department encouraged Americans who were directed abroad to monitor government alerts for updated information about where it is safe to travel.

© CBS Interactive Inc. 2018. All rights reserved Material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed The Associated Press has contributed to this report.


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