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Tajik Uranium Plant Officials Arrested As Uzbek Spies

KHUJAND, Tajikistan -- Three top officials at Tajikistan's major uranium-processing facility in the northern city of Khujand have been arrested for allegedly spying for Uzbekistan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Sources at Tajikistan's security service told RFE/RL that Vostokredmet's chief engineer, Aleksandr Botov; the facility's internal security chief, Matin Ziyoev; and an unnamed plant official were arrested and face espionage charges.

VostokRedMet also used to reprocess spent uranium but those activities ended with the demise of the Soviet Union.

During the Cold War years, the facility also produced yellowcake for the Soviet nuclear power and defense industries.

Several people in Tajikistan have in recent years been charged with spying for Uzbekistan.