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Severe Gas, Electricity Shortages Hit Tajikistan

(RFE/RL) November 28, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Most regions of Tajikistan's have been hit by severe natural gas and power shortages during the past five days.

RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports that electricity supplies to the capital, Dushanbe, and Khojand, the country's second-largest city, were drastically restricted on the night of November 27. Only central areas hosting administrative buildings and main hospitals received normal power supplies in those two cities.

Industry officials warned on October 9 that electricity would be available to Tajik households for just eight hours a day until April.

But they also assured the public that the restrictions would not affect Dushanbe.

Authorities have yet to explain the sudden shortages.

It is unclear whether they are linked to efforts to build a dam on the Vakhsh River, a tributary of the Amudariya River, whose source is in neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

(with additional reporting by Asia Plus)

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