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Tajik Officials Say Russian Officer Killed By Colleague

KULOB, Tajikistan -- Tajik officials say a police investigation shows Russian army officer Valery Mikhailov was killed by another Russian officer during a dispute, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Ozar Isoev, the deputy prosecutor in the southern Tajik city of Kulob, said on January 11 that an investigation concluded that a Russian officer identified as "Khitrin" was responsible for Mikhailov's death.

Mikhailov's body was found on January 6 in Kulob's Victory Park.

Isoev said that on January 6 Mikhailov and Khitrin left the Russian base in Kulob with two other officers.

Isoev said Khitrin and Mikhailov began arguing in the park and that Khitrin stabbed Mikhailov, who was left unattended in the park.

Isoev said Mikhailov could have been saved if he had received immediate medical assistance.

Residents of Kulob have often complained that Russian soldiers from the military base -- which is located in the city center -- often leave the base to drink alcohol and then get into trouble.

Two Russian officers were charged with killing a Tajik man in Kulob last year.

There are some 5,000 Russian soldiers stationed at three military bases in Tajikistan.