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Tajiks In Bishkek Picket Uzbek Embassy, Demand Resumption Of Rail Traffic

Tajik protest the disruption of humanitarian aid transports in Bishkek.
BISHKEK -- About 50 Tajik students and members of Kyrgyzstan's Tajik Association picketed the Uzbek Embassy in Bishkek today to demand the full resumption of rail traffic between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

According to the protesters, hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid intended for the victims of recent landslides and floods in Tajikistan are held up at the Uzbek-Tajik border as the Uzbek authorities refuse to allow cross-border rail traffic.

The protesters handed a petition to an Uzbek Embassy official.

Uzbekistan has described the rail delays as technical, but Dushanbe has accused Tashkent of deliberately blocking the shipments.