Tajikistan's army hunts militants in the mountains, prompting fears of renewed conflict

GARM, Tajikistan (AP) — An unsettled valley in ex-Soviet Tajikistan has become the scene of a major security sweep to quash what authorities see as an international Islamic militant uprising.

This mountainous nation on Afghanistan's northern border has been on high alert for weeks amid terrorist blasts and a prison escape by Islamic militants and government opponents. A weekend ambush on a military convoy left at least 25 soldiers dead in a remote gorge along the Rasht Valley.

The growing unrest has also deepened international concern that violence may be spilling over from Afghanistan.

Police continued security sweeps Thursday and severed mobile telephone connections on the orders of the security services.