Four cyclists including two Americans were killed over the weekend when a auto rammed into them in a hit-and-run accident in Tajikistan, sparking a manhunt for the driver that led to police killing two men resisting arrest, officials said Monday.
The three injured include the Dutch victim's girlfriend. Officials believe it may have been a deliberate attack.
A traveler on the M41 road (also called Pamir highway), crossing the Pamir plateau in Tajikistan. The other three sustained minor injuries, the ministry stated to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Interior Minister Ramazon Rakhimzoda told reporters that one of the survivors had knife wounds and police found knives and guns with some of the suspects.
Tajikistan's Interior Ministry said it was holding four people for potential involvement in "the collision and killing of foreign citizens" after a Daewoo sedan plowed into a group of seven foreign bicyclists about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.
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Among the four suspects killed was the owner of the vehicle, which police believe hit the tourists as they were cycling through a rural area 90 kilometres south-east of the capital Dushanbe.
Two of the suspected attackers died during their arrests and four others were detained, the ministry said.
Tajikistan had declared 2018 "a year of tourism" and authorities have been cautious about labeling the incident as terrorism. He said Afghanistan would have been a more obvious destination on the way to Iran, but they avoided it because it was "too unsafe".
President Emomali Rakhmon, whose hometown is near the site of the attack, expressed his condolences to the leaders of the United States, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Tajikistan has struggled with poverty and instability since the former Soviet republic in Central Asia became independent in 1991.