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Mysterious Fires Killing Tajik Migrant Workers

Hundreds of thousands of Tajik migrant laborers work in Russia (RFE/RL) MOSCOW, 9 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Sixteen Tajik labor migrants have been killed in three separate fires in Moscow since 3 February.

The most recent fire happened on 8 February, in which four people were killed. Local police say an investigation into the incident is under way.

On 7 February, nine Tajik labor migrants died in nearly identical circumstances in Moscow's Dolgoprudny region.

Following the 7 February fire, police reportedly evicted some 300 Tajik migrant workers from their homes, all in the same area of Dolgoprudny.

That fire was preceded by a similar fire on 3 February, also in Dolgoprudny, in which three Tajiks -- two women and a child -- were killed.

It remains unclear what started any of the fires. RFE/RL's attempts to get an official response to the matter have been unsuccessful for three days.

(RFE/RL's Tajik Service)