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Tajikistan: Protest Filed Against Alleged Violation Of Truce

Dushanbe, 12 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Tajikistan protested to the United Nations today against alleged violations by Islamic rebels of a provisional truce signed yesterday in northern Afghanistan. Presidential spokesman Zafar Saidov told Reuters a note of protest was sent to the U.N. special representative in Tajikistan, Gerd Merren, following an alleged shooting in the town of Garm, 150 kilometers east of the capital, Dushanbe, this morning.

Russian news agencies quoted Tajik officials as saying that two soldiers were killed and another three wounded during today's rebel attack.

Meanwhile, two explosions were reported in Dushanbe near the Parliament earlier today, killing one person and injuring another. The blasts were believed to have been caused by bombs. The opposition has denied any role.

Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov and opposition leader Sayid Abdullo Nuri were reported to have agreed a ceasefire from midnight yesterday.

A senior aide to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Yuri Baturin, arrived in Dushanbe today to examine the truce agreement. Itar-Tass quoted him as saying that there were no guarantees that the agreement would be immediately carried out. Baturin is to prepare for further talks between Rakhmonov and Nuri scheduled to take place in Moscow next week.

Thousands of Russian troops have been stationed in Tajikistan as part of a CIS peacekeeping force following a civil war in 1992 won by forces loyal to Rakhmonov. The opposition has waged a guerrilla war against Rakhmonov since then from neighboring Afghanistan.