The credibility of information about the death of the fugitive Colonel Gulmurod Halimov in Iraq has not yet been confirmed and we are currently checking it, the Interior Minister of Tajikistan, Ramazon Rahimzoda, told reporters in Dushanbe on February 8.  

Recall, some media reports said in April last year that Gulmurod Halimov, who has been described as the minister of war of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has been killed by allied airstrike in Mosul, Iraq.

Citing an Iraqi military source, The Times reported on April 15, 2017 that Gulmurod Halimov, who was originally from Tajikistan, was in the west of the city when the missile struck.

The source said that Halimov had been responsible for planning the jihadists’ defense of Mosul and was behind hundreds of car bombings against the coalition.

Halimov was born in Varzob district in 1975. During the civil war in Tajikistan has served in the presidential guard.  Since 1997 began to serve in the riot police as a private soldier, repeatedly got the state awards, was promoted to the rank of Colonel.  He graduated from the Higher Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan.  Besides, Halimov was given special trainings to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States.

Halimov participated in operations against armed groups in Rasht valley in 2009 and in Khorog in 2012.

He went missing in the end of April 2014 and a month later appeared in Syria.  In his video message, which he posted in the Internet, he said that he joined the ISIS terrorist group.  Authorities immediately accused the fugitive Colonel of treason and declared him wanted through Interpol.

The General Prosecutor's office opened a criminal case against former commander of the riot police on three counts – 305 (Treason), 187 part 2 (Participation in a criminal group) and 401 (Participation in hostilities abroad) of the criminal code.

In August 2016, Halimov was reportedly appointed a high-ranking IS commander.  Iraqi media said Halimov replaced IS commander Umar al-Shishani, who was reportedly killed in northern Iraq in July 2016.

On August 30, 2016, the U.S. State Department called Halimov a key member of ISIS and offered a reward of $3 million for information on his whereabouts.

Meanwhile, the interior minister told reporters today that according to information he had received, 250 Tajik nationals were killed in Syria and Iraq last year.  

“117 Tajik national have voluntarily returned home from Syria and Iraq,” Rahimzoda added.