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Dushanbe's Mayor Demands Explanation After Power Shortages

DUSHANBE (RFE/RL) -- The Dushanbe mayor is demanding that the local electricity provider explain the "unexpected electricity shortages" in the capital that led to complaints of heating problems.

Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev's office has requested that police help investigate nearly 300 complaints this week from Dushanbe residents about heating problems.

Sherali Gulov, a spokesman for the Barqi Tojik electric company, told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that the complaints are baseless because the city's heating system uses natural gas, not electricity.

Tajikistan has suffered major power shortages during the winter for many years. Last year's severe winter coupled with the energy shortage led to the deaths of dozens of Tajiks across the country, including many newborns.