Central Asia: August 8, 2000


He's back. Last Uzbek Islamic warlord Djuma Namangani caused a stir when he kidnapped four Japanese engineers in Kyrgyzstan and then traded them for the freedom of him and his men. Namangani went to Afghanistan, but now he's back, and he still wants to unite the Central Asian nations into an Islamic Republic like Afghanistan or Iran. Namangani apparently sneaked across the heavily guarded Tajikistan-Afghanistan border and was caught while trying to cross from Tajikistan into Uzbekistan via a high mountain pass. Uzbek and Tajik troops have surrounded the nearly one hundred militants. Namangani's troops were well equipped with night vision devices, radios and sniper rifles. Apparently they were setting up arms caches for later use. Given the numerous places to hide in this region, the Islamic rebels have probably been operating like this for some months. 


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