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Protest Continues, No Violence Today In Northern Tajikistan

Khudzhand, May 16 (RFE/RL) -- Protest rallies continue, but no violence is reported today in Tajikistan's northern city of Khudzhand. Officials tell RFE/RL that about 300 members of the elite Presidential Guard have been dispatched from Dushanbe, and have deployed to encircle the protesters.

Negotiations are reported to continue between protest organizers and the leader of Leninabad province, of which Khudzhand is the administrative center. Itar-Tass news agency says demonstrations are reported today in two other cities in the province.

During two days of violent protests this week, three people have been killed in Ura-Tyube, another city in the province.

Reports cites different reasons for the demonstrations. Khudzhand demonstrators were reported protesting a recent wave of killings of prominent regional figures and falling living standards. Protests in Ura-Tyube were reported to focus on Dushanbe's policy of appointing people from southern Tajikistan as members of local and regional governments in the north.