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Negotiations To End Fighting In East Tajikistan Continue

Bodies of government soldiers reportedly killed during recent fighting in the town of Khorog
Reports from eastern Tajikistan say the government and armed fighters are close to reaching an agreement to hostilities that broke out earlier this week leaving some 70 people dead.

The fighters reportedly have agreed to disarm but talks continue on handing over four people the Tajik government holds responsible for the killing of a security official in the Gorno-Badakhshan region on July 21.

Communications with the region remain tenuous.

Tajik officials in Dushanbe say phone lines connecting the Tajik capital to Khorugh, the regional capital some 520 kilometers to the southeast, were damaged in fighting on July 24.

The Tajik government says 12 soldiers, 30 people described as "militants," and some 30 civilians were killed in fighting in the Khorugh area this week.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and