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Tajikistan: Truce In Force In Contested Area

Dushanbe, 30 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Local rebel and government forces in Tajikistan have agreed to a truce in the contested southern area of Tavildara.

The truce, effective early today, was reported being respected in the south-central region near the Afghan border.

Word of the development came from rebel representative Yussuf Khakimov and government official Zafar Ikramov. Khakimov also said that an accord would be signed shortly ensuring that the main road leading from the capital Dushanbe to the west would be kept open.

Tavildara has been the scene of heavy fighting throughout the summer. The government claims to be in control of the main town, but the rebels are believed to be active in much of the surrounding area.

The Islamic rebels are fighting to topple the Russian-backed neo-communist government of President Emomali Rakhmonov, who seized power in December 1992 in a war which killed thousands of people.