2 U.S. cyclists killed in possible terror attack in Tajikistan

A file photo shows a touring bicycle parked along the M41 Pamir Highway, in the Pamir Mountain Range of Tajikistan.


MOSCOW — U.S. and Tajik officials say that two American cyclists and two others have been killed in a car crash in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation in what may have been a deliberate attack. Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry said an unidentified driver rammed a car into a group of foreign cyclists about 60 miles south of the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Sunday.

Two Americans died, the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan said on Facebook. Another foreign tourist also died on the spot and a fourth died after being transported to hospital, according to the Interior Ministry. The other two fatalities were nationals of Switzerland and the Netherlands.

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

Tajikistan’s Interior Minister Ramazon Rakhimzoda said police were “looking at all versions, that includes accident, murder, any other version. Now we cannot say for sure that this was a terrorist act or another type of crime. We are conducting an investigation and will keep you informed.”

“During active search measures, the car that ran into the group of tourists was found. A chase ensued after suspects as they were on the run. One of them was detained, one was liquidated and three are on the run. All measures to detain them are being taken,” Rakhimzoda said.

“We strongly condemn the cruelty of the attackers and recognize that they in no way represent the kindness and hospitality of the Tajik people,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement, according to Reuters, which appeared to confirm the suspected deliberate nature of the attack.

The U.S. Embassy did not immediately disclose further details of the victims’ identities due to privacy concerns.

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