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Tajikistan: President Considers Security Crackdown

Dushanbe, 1 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov met law enforcement officials today to discuss a possible security crackdown following yesterday's assasination attempt against him.

Two people were killed yesterday when a hand grenade was hurled at Rakhmonov and his entourage in the northern city of Khudjan. Another 60 people, including the President, were wounded.

Rakhmonov met with top security officials and cabinet ministers in Dushanbe to try to find out who was behind the assassination attempt and to consider tightened security. Russian news agencies report a special session of parliament was also convened.

The agencies report the government may request more help from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), including Russia, which already has some 25,000 troops in Tajikistan to guard against the rebels.

Iran, which has hosted peace talks between the Tajik government and opposition, today condemned the attack. The state news agency (IRNA) quotes Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Mohammadi as urging both parties to work for national reconciliation. The latest talks, sponsored by the United Nations, were suspended in May, but are due to resume in Tehran.