UAE reportedly extradites Tajik civil war commander to Tajikistan

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A field commander of the former pro government Popular Front, Khouja Karimov, has been extradited from Dubai to Dushanbe.

Khouja Karimov has been extradited from Dubai to Dushanbe recently. He has been detained in Dubai at request of Tajik authorities and he is currently being questioned at the Interior Ministry Organized Crime Control Directorate, an official source with the Interior Ministry told Asia Plus on the basis of anonymity.

Other media outlets have also reported on extradition of Khouja Karimov from the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) to Tajikistan but the law enforcement authorities have not yet confirmed this information officially. Recall, media reports said in August last year that a former commander of Tajik government forces during the country's five year civil war who is wanted in Tajikistan on charges of murder, robbery, hostage taking, and other crimes, has been detained in the United Arab Emirates.

Umarjon Emomali, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told Radio Liberty on August 14 that Tajik and U.A.E. officials were discussing Khouja Karimov's extradition to Tajikistan.

The Akhbor.com online newspaper on August 14 quoted unnamed officials as saying that Karimov was arrested on July 30 in the U.A.E. at Tajikistan's request.

Tajikistan's civil war lasted from 1992 until 1997 and poised rebel groups consisting of a combination of liberal democratic reformers and Islamists against the government forces.

According to estimates, between 20,000 and 100,000 people were killed during the conflict, which ended after a peace accord was signed by the sides in Moscow.

Khouja Karimov, known as Commander Khouja, was notorious for his cruelty during the conflict.

After the war, he was a deputy commander of a special brigade at the Defense Ministry and the chairman of the Tajikistan Football Federation soccer before he fled Tajikistan for Malaysia.

Tajik law enforcement authorities launched criminal proceedings against Karimov in September 2005.

Source: Asia Plus