Source AP ©

Explosion at Tajik presidential palace kills guard

A guard was killed in an explosion at a Tajik presidential palace. Officials call it a terror attack.

The explosion occurred when a guard touched a plastic bag left outside the palace before an international conference sponsored by the European Union there Wednesday on dealing with the consequences of natural disasters.

"We consider it a terror attack," said Kurbanali Mukhabbatov, the chief prosecutor of the Tajik capital. He wouldn't comment on the type of the explosive device or give any further details.

President Emomali Rakhmon was in the Khudzhand region in northern Tajikistan on Wednesday for ceremonies marking his ascent to power in the ex-Soviet nation 15 years ago.

Rakhmon's secular government fought a five-year civil war against mostly Islamic opposition - a war that killed 100,000 people and made Tajikistan one of the poorest countries in the world. The war ended in 1997 with a U.N.-brokered power-sharing deal.

As part of the peace deal, several prominent opposition figures joined the government, but Rakhmon later consolidated his grip on power, sidelining the Islamic opposition.

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