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Central Asia: Tajik Government, Opposition Plan Prisoner Exchange

Dushanbe, 17 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian news agencies says the Tajik government and opposition groups will exchange prisoners and detainees before signing a formal peace agreement June 27.

U.N. envoy to Tajikistan Gerd Merrem told reporters today that as part of the exchange, the opposition has pledged to release three Russian sevicemen held by Tajik rebels in Afghanistan since September 1996.

Last month the government and opposition signed a protocol paving the way for the formal peace accord to be signed June 27. The agreement aims to end a five-year civil war.