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Tajikistan: Anti-Taliban General Finds Haven

Moscow, 13 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - The correspondent of a top Russian daily today says Tajikistan is indeed providing safe haven and help to Afghan General Ahmed Shah Masoud in his fight against Taliban Islamic forces.

Tajikistan's Press Secretary Zafar Saidov last week said no foreign military had been allowed to use Tajikistan territory. But the newspaper's correspondent said he had been in the southern Tajik city of Kulyab, and had met Afghan pilots who "did not try to hide they were flying daily from Tajikistan to Afghanistan."

Planes belonging to another anti-Taliban leader, General Rashid Dostum, are reported to be based in Uzbekistan.

Russian planes flying from Tajikistan have been reported to have bombed Tajik opposition bases in northern Afghanistan. And, Russian and Uzbek fighters were reported involved in the Communist coup that brought Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmonov to power.