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BISHKEK -- A high-ranking officer in the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry who is an ethnic Tajik was arrested in Tajikistan for allegedly spying for Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Tajik service reports.

Sources in Kyrgyzstan told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that Colonel Muhammadi Salimzoda was arrested by the Tajik secret service in August last year, when he arrived in Tajikistan from Bishkek to attend his daughter's wedding.

This is the first information about his arrest since then.

Kyrgyz National Security Committee's spokesman Yrysbek Bikin-uulu told RFE/RL that Salimzoda is not an officer in the Kyrgyz security forces, as the Tajik authorities claim.

Salimzoda's wife, Dilbar Munavvani, said that she and her husband left for Kyrgyzstan 15 years ago, adding that she does not believe the charges.
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