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Tajik Opposition Urges Postponement of Peace Talks

Dushanbe, June 12 (RFE/RL) -- Tajik opposition leader Abdulloh Nuri is calling for further peace talks with the government to be postponed because of continued fighting.

In a statement today, Nuri said that Russian troops in Tajikistan heavily bombed the city of Tavildara yesterday and that fierce fighting in the area is continuing today.

Yesterday, the United Nations' secretary-general's special envoy on Tajikistan, Gerd Dietrich Merrem, said the two sides had been invited to resume the stalled peace talks next week. But Nuri said today the opposition favors a postponement until the first week of July.

However, Tajik presidential spokesman Zafar Saidov rejected Nuri's call. In an interview with RFE/RL, Saidov said fighting in the Tavildara region is indeed continuing, but that there are no major changes in the frontline. He also said organisational reasons could cause a delay in the resumption of the talks anyway. The talks are expected to be held in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat.