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European Diplomats Visit Troubled Tajik Region

Locals attended the burial of victims of recent fighting in the town of Khorog, the capital of the autonomous region of Gorno-Badakhshan, in July.
KHORUGH, Tajikistan -- A group of European ambassadors in Dushanbe visited Tajikistan's eastern region of Gorno-Badakhshan, the scene of a recent bloody military operation.

The visit is the first such trip by Western diplomats since Tajik government forces conducted an operation against what it described as "militants" in July.

The operation followed the killing of a security official in the region.

Some 70 people, including at least 20 civilians, were killed in hostilities.

Last month, the European Union expressed concern about the situation in Gorno-Badakhshan and demanded Tajik authorities allow international organizations and diplomatic missions to the region.

The ambassadors' trip comes amid reports that Dushanbe has deployed some 100 officers from the state counternarcotics agency in Gorn-Badakhshan.