Tajikistan: Bomb blast causes US embassy to close

Some eight policemen and two assailants have been killed in separate attacks around Dushanbe today, in what is being described as a terrorist attack. This has prompted the US Embassy to close and has sparked fears that this is the beginning of larger scale civil unrest. President Emmomali Rahmon responded to the crisis by abruptly dismissing a deputy defense minister who was supposedly related to one of the attackers. The attacks come amidst the tensions created over the prohibition of the country’s only fundamentalist Muslim political party, as well as the beating of a young student who was forced to shave his beard.

Police have quarantined Qarategin after gunmen attacked a police station in Vahat outside of Dushanbe. The event prompted the US embassy to close and calls have gone out for children not to go to school today. The context for these attacks is even larger than the prohibition of political parties – the fears of spillover violence from Afghanistan, as well as the effects of returning militants from Syria taking up residence and continuing operations within Tajikistan.

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News Briefs:

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  • The Economist has an interesting piece on the IAEA Uranium Bank being built in Kazakhstan. The article includes an interesting fact – one third of the $150 million financing has been provided by Warren Buffet’s consortium of companies, known as Berkshire Hathaway. The fuel’s safety, rather than its value in the spot market as a commodity, seems to be the principal aim of the bank, whose customers will include ONLY IAEA members. The bank will also only contain low-enriched uranium (LEU) rather than the highly enriched weapons grade form (which is highly unstable). But what is the value for the Oracle of Omaha? Prices of uranium have slumped since the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 in Japan. But the consolidation of supply under one roof and a foreseeable increase in demand for nuclear power sounds like it will be the source of much future wealth.
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