Vehicle strikes cyclists in Tajikistan, killing 4 tourists

Kristopher Nichols
July 31, 2018

Two Americans, a Swiss and a Dutch citizen died on Sunday in the Danghara district, some 70km (43 miles) south-east of the capital Dushanbe. The nationalities and identities of the injured people and the other two other fatalities has not been released.

Swiss Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Silvia Mueller said that Swiss authorities are in contact with Tajik officials and that while the circumstances of the incident are still unclear, the Swiss government's travel advice for Tajikistan notes the risk of attacks and the bad road traffic situation in the country.

A traveler on the M41 road (also called Pamir highway), crossing the Pamir plateau in Tajikistan.

Three other bikers who were Dutch and Swiss were also injured before the attackers drove away; one Swiss woman was stabbed and is no longer in critical condition.

Three other cyclists in the group sustained light injuries and sought medical help.

Investigators searched the village of Torbulok following the incident and identified a damaged vehicle that showed "involvement in the commission of this crime", according to a statement sent to CNN Sunday from the Tajikistan Interior Ministry.

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Security forces pursuing suspects in the attack killed four, including one as he was resisting arrest, and detained a fifth man, the former Soviet republic's interior ministry said.

Tajikistan had declared 2018 "a year of tourism" and authorities have been cautious about labeling the incident as terrorism.

"We are looking into all versions - accident, robbery. including a terrorist act", Interior Minister Ramazon Rakhimzoda told a briefing.

The investigation has been put under the personal control of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.

The mountains and valleys of Central Asia are an enticing but sometimes risky destination for adventure travellers.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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