Officials in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation didn’t publicly address the Daesh claim and instead blamed the Sunday attack on a banned local Islamic group. The young men featured in a Daesh-linked video resembled the individuals that Tajik authorities identified as attack suspects who were later killed by police.
Daesh said in a statement late Monday that several of its soldiers attacked the “citizens of the Crusader coalition,” AP reported.
The four tourists were killed when a car rammed into a group of foreigners on bicycles south of the capital of Dushanbe, Tajik officials have said. The driver and the passengers then got out and attacked the cyclists with knives.
Two of the victims were American, one was Swiss and the fourth was from the Netherlands, foreign and Tajik officials said. The three people injured included a woman from Switzerland.
A video posted on a Daesh-linked website Tuesday shows five men sitting on a hill against the backdrop of a black-and-white Daesh flag and declaring allegiance to Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The men say they’re from Tajikistan and pledge to slaughter disbelievers. A note accompanying the video said the men took part in the weekend attack.
Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry posted photos Tuesday of what it said were the bodies of four suspected attackers lying dead in a field. Three of the men resemble ones in the Daesh video.
It blamed the attack on the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, a local party banned several years ago for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.
Tajikistan, an impoverished, predominantly Muslim nation of some 8 million people, was devastated by a 5-year civil war with rebel forces that ended in 1997.