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Opposition Newspaper Editor Beaten in Tajikistan

Poster of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon in Tajikistan (FILE).

Unknown assailants severely beat an opposition newspaper editor in Tajikistan Monday.

Khikmatullo Saifullozoda, editor of the Nachot newspaper, was attacked by a group in the capital, Dushanbe, said a senior official of the Islamic Revival Party. Saifullozoda has been hospitalized in grave condition.

Human rights activists say President Emomali Rakhmon rules Tajikistan with an iron fist and has tried to silence dissent. The Islamic Revival Party won two seats in last year's parliamentary elections.

Tajikistan is a majority Muslim Central Asian nation and the poorest state to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union. The eastern region has seen an active Islamist insurgency since Tajikistan's civil war of the 1990's.

Tajik officials say Taliban and al-Qaida militants have been trying to enter Tajikistan from northern Afghanistan to flee operations by NATO-led forces.