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Tajik Prison Guards Shoot Jailed Iranian National

Tajik prison guards say they shot an Iranian citizen after he tried to escape from a penal colony in the town of Yavan, 54 kilometers south of the capital, Dushanbe.

Officials at Tajikistan's Directorate to Monitor Penitentiaries told RFE/RL on May 19 that Mehdi Kambari was wounded in the incident on May 16 and sent to a prison hospital.

An inmate, who asked not to be identified, told RFE/RL by phone that Kambari could not stand the penitentiary's harsh conditions and decided to escape, with plans to reach the Iranian Embassy in Dushanbe.

Embassy officials told RFE/RL that they are working on obtaining detailed information on the incident from Tajik authorities.

Kambari has served eight months of a three-year prison term he received for illegally crossing the Tajik border.