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

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.