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Protest in Northern Tajikistan Continues, Despite Negotiations

Ura-Tyube, Tajikistan, May 15 (RFE/RL) - Our correspondent in Tajikistan reports that Tajik authorities today accepted some of the requests made by protesters in the city of Ura-Tyube in Northern Tajikistan. But the protest is continuing, despite the central authorities' effort.

Our correspondent quotes demonstration leaders as saying that central authorities have agreed to replace both the head of the local militia and of the Security service. Demonstrators had earlier requested the removal from Ura-Tyube of top officials coming from other Tajik regions, whom they accused of corruption.

Our correspondent said that central authorities also agreed to improve food supplies and the control of humanitarian aid in the region. Protesters are also demanding their salaries to be increased and paid on time.

Russian news agencies quoting the Tajik interior ministry reported earlier that three people were killed in overnight clashes between demonstrators and security forces. Interior Ministry troops reinforcement are being sent to Ura-Tyube today.

The protest in Ura-Tyube follows a similar demonstration on Monday in the Northen regional center of Khudzhand, where Tajik Prime Minister Yakhyo Azimov negotiated with demonstrators angry against a recent wave of killings of prominent regional figures and falling living standards.