MOSCOW-Islamic State on Tuesday underlined its responsibility for an attack that killed four cyclists, including two US citizens, in Tajikistan, Central Asia, on the weekend.
In a video of the research group SITE Intelligence, Islamic State shows five men speaking in Russian identified as the attackers who drove over the cyclists on a remote road about 40 miles southeast of the capital Dushanbe. In a statement on late Monday, the Islamic State said it had also attacked the cyclists with knives
The attack was the first against Western tourists in Tajikistan, located between Afghanistan and other former Soviet Central Asian republics. The country has long been regarded as a potential base for the Islamic State, which has carried out attacks not far from the 800-mile border in Afghanistan.
The men sitting next to a black flag of the Islamic State pledged themselves to be leaders of the group
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
and said they were ready to die.
The Tajik authorities say they tracked down the attackers and their car after the attack and killed several of them who resisted and detained others.
It was unclear when the video was shot. 1
A Russian-led security alliance, to which Tajikistan belongs, has promised to draw up plans for a rapid reaction force that could act against radicalism in the country that led a five-year civil war between the US former Soviet authorities and a loose coalition of democratic ones and Islamist movements after the fall of the Soviet Union
The Tajik government banned the Islamic Renaissance Party, which was once a political party with members in parliament, until 2015 by attacking. The Tajik authorities often speculate with the threat of Islamic violence to justify their stubborn policies towards religious movements in the country that are seen as a threat to the current government.