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Tajik Customs Service Spokesman Dies Following Attack


DUSHANBE -- The chief spokesman for Tajikistan's Customs Services press service died following an attack just days after his appointment to the post, medical sources and relatives say.

Fakhriddin Sobirov died without regaining consciousness at the National Medical Center (NMC) in Dushanbe, a source at the facility told RFE/RL on October 15.

The previous day, a surgeon at the NMC, Mahmud Hasanov, said Sobirov underwent a four-hour operation and was in "extremely critical" condition.

Sobirov was taken to hospital on October 13 after unidentified assailants hit him on his head with a blunt object and left him unconscious in the city center, according to members of his family.

Officials at Dushanbe's Shohmansur district police department told RFE/RL that the incident is being investigated.

The Central Asian country's Interior Ministry has not released a statement or commented publicly.

Sobirov, 51, was appointed to the post in early October.