2 D.C. cyclists among 4 dead in Tajikistan hit-and-run


(CNN) — Two Americans, a Dutch national and Swiss national were killed by a hit-and-run driver while cycling in Tajikistan Sunday, officials say.

The two Americans were from D.C.

The four tourists died after a car struck them in Khatlon Oblast, a region south of Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe. Tajik authorities said three other cyclists in their group were treated for minor injuries.

Suspects pledged allegiance to ISIS

Five men shown in a video pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appear to match photos of the men identified by the ministry as responsible for the attack.

The video, which the ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency said it obtained on Tuesday, identified the men as “the attack executors in the province of Denghar west of Tajikistan.” The group in the video does not mention Sunday’s attack.

In a statement, the ministry named and released photos of a group of men it blames for the attack. They appear to match the individuals seen in the video.

A senior US State Department official condemned the attack and said the United States is ready to assist the investigation. The official referred questions to Tajik authorities.

US Embassy posts message

The US Embassy in Dushanbe posted a message on its Facebook page Monday thanking Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and the people of Tajikstan for their expressions of sympathy to the victims’ families.

“We strongly condemn the cruelty of the attackers and recognize that they in no way represent the kindness and hospitality of the Tajik people,” it said.

In an earlier post, the Embassy confirmed the deaths of the two American cyclists in the Danghara district.

“Due to privacy concerns, we are unable to share further details. Our condolences go out to the victims’ families, and we will continue to work with Tajik authorities in the ongoing investigation,” the Embassy statement said.

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