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Tajik Man Gets 20 Years For Killing Russian Soldier

A Tajik court has sentenced a local man to 20 years in prison after convicting him of killing a Russian soldier stationed in the city of Qurghon-Teppa.

The Khatlon regional court told RFE/RL on October 25 that it found Ahliddin Mashrabov guilty of murdering Russian soldier Aleksei Buyenkov and sentenced him to 20 years the previous day.

Mashrabov was arrested on July 31, hours after he and Buyenkov brawled in a Qurghon-Teppa restaurant and the latter died at the scene.

Mashrabov pleaded guilty, but said Buyenkov and two other unnamed Russian soldiers attacked him first.

Sometimes-deadly brawls between Russian soldiers and local residents regularly make news in Tajikistan.

About 7,000 troops from Russia's 201st Motorized Rifle Division are stationed in Tajikistan at three facilities -- one at Kulob, one at Qurghon-Teppa, and one near Dushanbe.

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