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Tajikistan Vows Joint Anti-Terrorism Efforts with Russia After Moscow Attack

By Vusala Abbasova March 26, 2024

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In a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Rahmon conveyed his condolences and solidarity with the Russian people and emphasized that terrorism knows no boundaries of nationality, homeland, or religion. / AFP

Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon has affirmed his nation's commitment to combating terrorism alongside Russia, in the wake of the recent terrorist attack at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall.

This pledge follows the identification of the four individuals charged with perpetrating the attack as Tajik nationals.

In a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Rahmon conveyed his condolences and solidarity with the Russian people and emphasized that terrorism knows no boundaries of nationality, homeland, or religion.

“During the conversation, Vladimir Putin and Emomali Rahmon noted that special services and relevant departments of Russia and Tajikistan are working closely in the field of countering terrorism, and this work will be intensified,” the Kremlin said in a statement issued on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, a court ordered pre-trial detention for the four suspects accused of carrying out acts of terrorism in connection with the attack at Crocus City Hall. The suspects, identified as Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni, and Mukhammadsobir Faizov, appeared before the Basmanny District Court where they were ordered to be held until at least May 22 pending trial.

According to reports, Mirzoyev and Rachabalizoda have admitted guilt. All four suspects are said to be citizens of Tajikistan residing in Russia.

The Islamic State militant group (ISIS), designated a terrorist organization by the United Nations, claimed responsibility for the attack on its Telegram channel on Friday.

The attack at Crocus City Hall, which claimed the lives of at least 139 people, marked the deadliest incident on Russian soil since the 2004 Beslan school siege. This was when Chechen separatists took more than 1,000 hostages, the vast majority children, and more than 330 people died, including 186 children.

The Moscow massacre evokes haunting memories of past atrocities, including the NordOst theater siege in 2002, when 40 Chechen militants took more than 900 people hostage. Russian security services eventually stormed the theatre, pumping sleeping gas into the hall. Some 130 hostages died.

More recently, in 2018, an 18-year-old student attacked a technical college in Kerch, in the Russian-annexed Crimea, killing 20 people before taking his own life. In 2021, two adults and seven children were killed in a school shooting in the city of Kazan, leading to the detention of a 19-year-old. In 2022, a shooter who had previously attended a school in Izhevsk, central Russia, opened fire, murdering at least 17 people – 11 of them children – before taking his own life on the spot.

The assault on the concert hall unfolded on Friday night when gunmen, donned in camouflage and armed with automatic weapons, burst into the crowded concert hall in the Russian capital’s western suburbs as the audience was gathering to watch the veteran rock band Picnic. They opened fire into the crowd and set off explosives that started a massive fire.

As a result of the fire, the roof of Crocus City Hall, a huge complex that includes a shopping center and a concert hall, collapsed. The report, which was made public on Saturday, claimed that the attackers who broke into the performance venue used a "flammable liquid" to set the building on fire.