Tajikistan’s special forces chief has appeared in a video claiming to have joined Islamic State forces in Syria.
Gulmurod Khalimov is seen in the footage dressed in black and holding a gun. He went missing in early May.
He says he joined IS in protest at Tajikistan’s policy towards religion, which he says is anti-Islamic.
Hundreds of Central Asians are thought have left for Syria, but this is the first known case of such a high profile officer joining the militants.
The authorities in Tajikistan have refused to comment on his whereabouts since his disappearance, reports the BBC’s Abdujalil Abdurasulov in Almaty.
Khalimov used to fight extremists at home and was one of the best trained officers in the country, our correspondent says.
In the video, which is believed to have been recorded in a Syrian camp, he says he plans to return to Tajikistan and “bring slaughter”.
Read more: BBC