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Tajik Town Removes Busts Of Civil War 'Heroes'

The monuments in question

The monuments in question

QURGHON-TEPPA, Tajikistan -- Officials in the southern Tajik city of Qurghon-Teppa have decided to remove the prominent sculptures of three People's Front commanders from a main street, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The busts of Sangak Safarov, Fayzali Saidov, and Rahmon Murchaev -- leaders of the paramilitary force that won the country's 1992-97 civil war -- will be removed from the town's central Lomonosov Street.

The People's Front also brought President Emomali Rahmon to power in 1992.

Burhonuddin Rajabov, the head of the town's Cultural Department, told RFE/RL that the busts are not particularly artistic and should be displayed in a museum about the civil war.

Some residents say the presence of the sculptures of former warlords makes people who lost relatives during the civil war very sad.

Four years ago Tajik officials removed the sculptures of some pro-government People's Front commanders from a central park in the southern city of Kulob, the front's birthplace.

Some 60,000 people were officially killed during the civil war while hundreds of thousands of others were displaced, many of them going to neighboring Afghanistan.