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Former Tajik Opposition Commander Given Interior Ministry Post

DUSHANBE -- A United Tajik Opposition (UTO) field commander during Tajikistan's civil war has been given an Interior Ministry post in a volatile eastern part of the country, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajik Interior Ministry spokesman Mahmadullo Asadulloev told RFE/RL today that the appointment of Shoh Iskandarov as deputy head of an Interior Ministry department in Rasht Valley is in recognition of his role in defusing the crisis there last fall when Islamic militants fought against government forces.

Dozens of people were killed in the fighting.

Iskandarov was a UTO field commander in Rasht during the 1992-1997 civil war, fighting against forces loyal to President Emomali Rahmon.

After the signing of the 1997 peace agreement, he served in the border guard forces and retired several years ago as a colonel.

He had worked since then in a local coal mine.