DUSHANBE, December 16, 2014, Asia-Plus -- One of former United Tajik Opposition (UTO) field commanders in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), Mamadboqir Mamadboqirov, who was detained in Khorog on December 15, was released on his own recognizance on the same day after a three-hour conversation.

A statement released by the public relations center of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS)’s office for GBAO says that Mamadboqirov was arrested on December 15 for illegally entering a new department of SCNS’s office in GBAO, which was opened in Khorog’s Bar Khorog area, and beating security officer.

Mamadboqirov was reportedly detained and Makarov pistol without registration number was reportedly confiscated from him.  He was released on his own recognizance on the same day after a three-hour conversation, the statement says.

The statement notes that one of groups of youth of Khorog participated in criminal actions organized by Mamadboqirov.  Criminal proceedings have reportedly been instituted and an investigation is under way.

Mamadboqirov is one of former field commanders of the UTO in Gorno Badakhshan and retired colonel of Tajik border troops.  His name appeared again in media after the Khorog clashes in 2012.  Khorog saw days of fighting in July 2012 between government troops and rebels after President Emomali Rahmon vowed to punish local warlords for the killing of a security service general.  According to some sources, more than 70 people were killed in those clashes.

Another incident took place in Khorog in May this year.  Two suspected drug traffickers were killed and one was wounded by police officers on May 21.  Besides, two persons were killed and at least seven people were wounded on the same day after police opened fire on a crowd that tried to storm a police station.  The fatalities occurred during a police offensive against suspected criminals and ensuing clashes between security forces and local residents upset with the police action.

The wounded suspected drug trafficker died in the hospital Friday night (May 23), sparking the march on the building of the SCNS’s office for GBAO in Khorog.  At least one person was killed and two wounded.  Witnesses reported that one of the protesters threw a grenade at the building of the SCNS’s office and some protesters opened fire on the facility.

On May 24-25, several dozens of protesters in the GBAO spent two nights in tents in Khorog, demanding an investigation into deadly clashes on May 21 and the resignations of the local governor, police chiefs, and prosecutor.  Protesters left the central square in Khorog after civil society activists and authorities agreed to investigate the May 21 incident.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry’s office for GBAO says the current situation in the province and its administrative center is calm.