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Tajikistan police kill suspected Islamist militant

DUSHANBE, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Tajikistan's police have killed a suspected Taliban-linked Islamist militant in a gun fight that followed a series of similar clashes within the last months, a source in the country's security forces said on Monday.

The Central Asian state said this month it had destroyed a gang led by an operative of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a banned group that had fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan. Tajikistan said it had killed 11 militants and detained 30 men.

A senior security forces official told Reuters a special police force unit tried to detain another suspected IMU member on Sunday.

"During the operation aimed at detaining IMU activist Lutfullo Tursunov he opened fire from a Kalashnikov assault rifle," said the official, who asked not to be named.

"The special forces (police unit) had to return fire and (Tursunov) was fatally wounded," he said.

The official said police found ammunition and "extremist literature" at Tursunov's house.

Tajikistan's Central Asian neighbours Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have also blamed the IMU, previously believed to be inactive, for clashes in recent months. (Reporting by Roman Kozhevnikov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov)

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