Tajik President's Supporters Fired Upon

BISHKEK, September 28, 2006 -- Unknown attackers fired on a vehicle in which supporters of Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov were traveling, wounding two of them, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz and Tajik services reported.

The incident happened late on September 27 in the Dostuk Karabak enclave of Kyrgyzstan, an area surrounded by the Isfara district of northern Tajikistan.

A local Tajik official was shot in the back and another in the leg.

The chief of police in Kyrgyzstan's Batken Province, Erkin Esenaliev, said the incident had nothing to do with Kyrgyzstan, and that it was an internal Tajik matter.

"This has nothing to do with us," Esenaliev said. "The only thing is that the incident happened on the  highway on the Kyrgyz side. As a matter of fact, the injured people and the suspects are Tajiks. This is their own internal issue. So, there is no danger to our Kyrgyz citizens there."

Tajik government officials in Dushanbe confirmed the three men were supporters of President Rakhmonov and his Democratic People's Party of Tajikistan but denied the three were engaged in campaigning for the November 6 presidential election.