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Tajik President Visits Restive Eastern Region

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon
DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's president, Emomali Rahmon, has started a working visit to the country's restive eastern region of Gorno-Badakhshan, weeks after a special operation there by security forces left some 70 people dead.

Rahmon visited the region's Rushan and Shugnan districts on September 18, taking part in the opening of a new boarding school and new local government offices.

In July, authorities sent extra forces to the province after a local security chief was stabbed to death.

Clashes between the troops and militants lasted until late August.

The troops were withdrawn on August 24 after thousands of residents in the regional capital, Khorugh, protested for days demanding that security troops be sent back.

The protests intensified after security troops killed a former rebel who had commanded opposition fighters in the 1990s.