Central Asia: February 25, 2003


A Tajik court tried and convicted 82 Islamic militants of terrorism. Nine were sentenced to death, 72 to long prison terms and one released for health reasons. The men were accused of continuing to fight after the 1997 agreement between the government and the Islamic rebels that had been fighting. Several Islamic groups continue to fight inside Tajikistan, with all of them wanting to either replace the Tajik government with a more pro-religious one, or make Tajikistan part of a Central Asian Islamic Republic.


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