DUSHANBE -- Internet access to Tajikistan's leading independent news agency Asia Plus remains cut off for a second day.
In an interview with RFE/RL's Tajik Service, Tajik Communications Ministry official Beg Zuhurov claimed "maintenance reasons" were behind the loss of access, which began Tuesday.
Asia Plus, however, accuses authorities of blocking access because of some readers' comments, which were published on the website and seen by officials as being critical of authorities.
Asia Plus said negotiations are under way with officials to restore access, and the agency has pledged to publish its daily news bulletin on its Facebook page.
Earlier this year, Tajik officials blocked access to Facebook and several independent news agencies, citing "technical reasons."