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Tajikistan: Two Russian Military Personnel Killed

Dushanbe, 3 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - A Russian military spokesman says the bodies of two Russian military medical personnel shot dead in the Tajik capital Dushanbe were found in the street today.

The spokesman told Reuters News Agency that Major Alexander Maystrenko and nurse Fatima Azizova were shot in the head with a Makarov pistol late yesterday. Both worked at the 201st Motorized Infantry Division's hospital in Dushanbe.

It was the fourth reported attack on Russian servicemen in the former Soviet republic in under a week. No one has claimed responsibility for the shootings, widely blamed on Islamist opposition fighters.

Dozens of Russian servicemen have been killed or injured in Tajikistan, where they carry out peacekeeping duties and guard the border with Afghanistan.

Last month, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Islamic Opposition leader Said Abdullah Nuri signed a peace agreement aimed at ending more than four years of civil war.