Wed, 04 Aug 2021

DUSHANBE -- The United States Emirates (UAE) has sent a former Tajik field commander back to Tajikistan where he faces charges of murder, robbery, kidnapping, and other crimes.

The Tajik Interior Ministry said on February 17 that Khuja Karimov -- a commander of government troops during Tajikistan's five-year civil war -- has been extradited to Dushanbe.

Karimov was arrested in the UAE in July 2019 at the request of Tajikistan.

Tajikistan's civil war lasted from 1992 until 1997. It poised rebel groups consisting of liberal democratic reformers and Islamists against Russian-backed Tajik government forces.

According to wide-ranging estimates, somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 people were killed during the conflict.

The war ended after a peace accord was signed in Moscow by the rival sides.

Karimov, known as Commander Khuja, is notorious for reported cruelty during the conflict.

After the war, he was a deputy commander of a special brigade at the Defense Ministry and the chairman of Tajikistan's Football Federation.

Karimov fled Tajikistan for Malaysia after Tajik authorities launched criminal charges against him in September 2005.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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