DUSHANBE, October 16, 2014, Asia-Plus – 50 Tajiks fighting alongside antigovernment groups have been killed in Syria, Tajik Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda announced during the “Direct Dialogue” program (phone questions and answers), organized by the Dushanbe weekly Tojikiston (Tajikistan).

According to him, more than 200 Tajik nationals have joined antigovernment groups in Syria and 50 Tajik nationals have been killed.

“To-date, Tajik law enforcement authorities have instituted criminal proceedings against 19 people under the provisions of Article 187 – organization of a criminal group,” said the minister.  “Besides, the law enforcement agencies have collected information about 12 other people and submitted it to the investigative bodies.”    

Experts say hundreds of Islamist fighters have traveled from Central Asia to Syria to swell the ranks of Islamic State militants.  Many are recruited while working as migrant workers in Russia.