Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Robin Forestier-Walker, "Trouble brewing in Tajikistan," Al Jazeera, July 16, 2009.

Mirzo Ziyoyev's battle-hardened lieutenants watched us closely from the fields of his farmstead, as we drove up in our four-wheel drive vehicle.

We had come to the Rasht valley, a geographical area that includes several smaller valleys, to meet the former military chief of staff of the Tajik Islamist opposition.

Although welcomed as guests and given tea and bread, as is the custom, we did not have an invitation.

  Intelligence sources believe IMU fighters who fought for the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks on the US, later relocated to the Pakistani tribal areas.

Ziyoyev's men told us he was not available for comment, and we were politely given the signal to leave.

As we pulled away from the village it was becoming clear that things were not well between the powerful former warlord and the powers that be in the capital Dushanbe.

A week later, on July 11, Ziyoyev was dead.

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