The Latest: US condemns ‘senseless’ Tajik tourist attack
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on a hit-and-run crash that killed four cyclists in Tajikistan (all times local):
The United States is condemning the “senseless attack” in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan that killed four foreign cyclists, including two Americans.
The State Department issued a statement on Monday expressing “deepest condolences” to the families of the people killed when a car crashed into a group of seven people touring Tajikistan on bikes Sunday. Another tourist who died was from Switzerland, and one was from the Netherlands.
The department says it can’t provide more information about the U.S. citizens, citing “privacy concerns.” The statement said U.S. officials are working closely with Tajik authorities.
Tajikistan’s interior minister said Monday that investigators are considering a range of scenarios, including that the deaths resulted from an accident, were deliberate slayings or motivated by terrorism.
The State Department says it is encouraging Americans to monitor government advisories for updated information on where it is safe to travel.
Tajikistan’s top police official says one of the foreign cyclists who was hit by a car during a weekend hit-and-run “attack” also sustained knife wounds.
A car plowed into a group of seven tourists traveling through Tajikistan by bike on Sunday, killing four riders. Embassies and authorities in Tajikistan say two of the victims were from the United States, one was from Switzerland and one was from the Netherlands.
Interior Minister Ramazon Rakhimzoda told reporters on Monday that one of the surviving cyclists had knife wounds and that the suspects were armed with knives and guns.
Rakhimzoda described the collision as “an attack,” but said investigators are considering a range of scenarios, including that the deaths resulted from an accident, were deliberate slayings or motivated by terrorism.
During the morning news conference in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, Rakhimzoda said one of the suspects has been killed. A statement posted on the Interior Ministry’s web site Sunday evening said two suspects were dead. The discrepancy could not be immediately explained.
Tajik officials say four other suspects have been detained.
Officials in Tajikistan say four cyclists were killed over the weekend when a car rammed into them in Tajikistan, sparking a manhunt that led to police killing two men resisting arrest.
Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry said on Monday it was holding one suspect and three others for potential involvement in “the collision and killing of foreign citizens.”
They said a Daewoo sedan plowed into a group of seven foreign cyclists about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on Sunday.
The U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan said two Americans were among those killed in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation. The Swiss Foreign Ministry said a third victim was a Swiss citizen. The nationality of the fourth victim is unknown.
Three other cyclists in the group, including a Swiss woman, sustained injuries and sought medical help, according to Tajik and Swiss officials.
U.S. and Tajik officials say that two American cyclists have been killed in a car crash in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation.
Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry said an unidentified driver rammed a car into a group of foreign cyclists about 100 kilometers (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, according to the Interior Ministry. The statement did not say where the third victim was from.
Three other cyclists in the group sustained light injuries and sought medical help. Police said it was unclear whether it was an accident or a deliberate attack.
The U.S. Embassy did not disclose further details due to privacy concerns.