Western cyclists killed in suspected terrorist attack in Tajikistan

Four cyclists - two Americans, a Swiss and a Dutch citizen - have been killed in an apparent hit-and-run followed by a knife attack in Tajikistan, with police saying terrorism is among the possible motives.

Two people suspected of involvement in the incident were later "liquidated", Tajik officials say. Tajikistan's Interior Ministry said an unidentified driver rammed a auto into a group of foreign cyclists about 60 miles south of the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Sunday.

The dead were on a cycling tour in the impoverished ex-Soviet nation, in a group with three other tourists from Switzerland, the Netherlands and France. "The version of a terrorist act is also not being excluded", interior minister Ramazon Rakhimzoda told journalists on Monday. The stab victim, whose nationality was not given, was in a stable condition.

Police are also pursuing other suspects.

Investigators searched the village of Torbulok following the incident and identified a damaged vehicle that showed "involvement in the commission of this crime", according to a statement sent to CNN Sunday from the Tajikistan Interior Ministry.

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'We are considering all possibilities, ' Rahimzoda said of the criminal investigation.

President Emomali Rahmon's office announced that he had declared his condolences to the governments of the United States, the Netherlands and Switzerland over the deaths.

However, the minister said that "state institutions are being guarded.to provide safety for citizens and tourists".

Two Americans died, the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan said on Facebook.

Tajikistan is the poorest of the ex-Soviet republics and has been ruled by the iron hand of Rakhmon, 65, since 1992.

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