Turkmenistan clashes 'kill police'

Sources say security forces battle "religious group" in capital Ashgabat.

    Information is strictly controlled in the former Soviet republic and state media did not report on the incident.

    The reports of clashes could not be independently confirmed but witnnesses told news agencies that there was heavy gunfire throughout the night and the northern suburbs of the capital were surrounded by police.

    Other witnesses said that security personnel in armoured personnel carriers were patrolling the streets which remained closed for much of Saturday.

    Arkady Dubnov, a Moscow-based reporter for the Vremya Novostei newspaper and expert on Central Asia, told the AFP news agency that sources in Ashgabat had told him of "tanks and armoured vehicles opening fire on a drinking water factory" where an armed group was hiding.

    The US embassy in Turkmenistan warned Americans to stay away from the northern districts of the city.

    The Central Asian nation, bordering Iran and Afghanistan, has a predominantly Muslim population and large oil and gas reserves.

    Al Jazeera is not responsible for the content of external websites

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.