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Tajik President Says Fighting Against Insurgents In East 'Under Control'

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (left) met with his Afghan counterpart in Kabul
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (left) met with his Afghan counterpart in Kabul
DUSHANBE -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon says security forces battling with Islamic insurgents in eastern Tajikistan have the situation "under control," RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Rahmon said at a press conference in Kabul on October 25 after talks with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, that the media has overestimated the number of Islamic insurgents that have crossed from Afghanistan into Tajikistan and have been fighting Tajik security forces in the eastern Rasht Valley in recent months.

"Journalists reported that almost 400 or 500 Talibs have crossed [the Afghan-Tajik border]," Rahmon said. "That is more [than what have come into Tajikistan]. Those numbers don't correspond to the facts. [The fighting that is going on] in Tajikistan is under control. Some of [the insurgents] were killed [during fighting against Tajik forces] and a lot of them were detained."

He added that "there are some citizens of former Soviet republics among [the insurgents but] not Afghan citizens."

Rahmon had previously said little publicly about the situation in eastern Tajikistan, despite months of fighting there.

Rahmon began a two-day official visit to Afghanistan on October 25. Karzai and Rahmon signed six cooperation agreements in the economic, transport, and cultural spheres.