The Islamic State (IS) terror group has claimed that one of its fighters is behind the deadly prison riot that broke out in the Tajik northern city of Khujand on November 7.

Amaq news agency, which is linked to the IS group, reported on November 8 that one of IS fighters “is responsible for the attack in Tajikistan that sparked a prison riot.” 

Citing sources close to the Tajik government and security officials, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported on November 9 that the riot at the prison in the city of Khujand was organized by IS supporters convicted of religious extremism and terrorism.

The sources also said that at least 24 people, including two guards, were killed in the riot, according to RFE/RL.

Security sources earlier told RFE/RL that the fighting began after an inmate attacked and killed a prison guard.

Security forces were on high alert and Justice Ministry and other officials flew to Khujand immediately after the incident, the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media on the issue, told RFE/RL.

They also said that six police officers hospitalized in Khujand with gunshot wounds.

The high-security penal colony in Khujand mostly houses inmates convicted on charges of terrorism, extremism, belonging to radical religious organizations and other serious crimes. 

According to RFE/RL, the sources said many of the inmates in the Khujand prison were convicted of membership or affiliation with banned extremist groups, including IS terror group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and others.