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Transdniester Separatists Block Railway

14 August 2004 -- Tensions between Moldova and its breakaway enclave of Transdniester escalated today as hundreds of women blocked railways connecting the two regions.

Witnesses in the railroad hub city of Bender said dozens of women sat on the tracks to block service into and out of the Russian-speaking region, which declared its independence from Moldova in 1992.

The region calls itself the Republic of Transdniester but is not officially recognized by any country. Some of the demonstrators carried signs protesting what they see as hostile actions by the Moldovan government.

Last week, the government in Chisinau levied sanctions against Transdniester in response to reports that pro-Russian separatists in the region had closed down schools for teaching students to use Latin, rather than Cyrillic, script.