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Tajik Murder Trial Starts For Russian Soldiers

Rahimjon Teshaboev was killed in Dushanbe last year

DUSHANBE -- Two Russian soldiers suspected in the killing of a Tajik taxi driver last year have gone on trial in the capital, Dushanbe.

The 109th garrison court at the Russian military base in Tajikistan started the hearings into the case on August 4.

Russian army's deputy platoon commander Fyodor Basimov and former military unit commander Ildar Sakhapov were arrested in August last year after taxi driver Rahimjon Teshaboev, 36, was found dead near Dushanbe.

An autopsy revealed that Teshaboev, a father of three, was severely beaten before his throat was slashed.

The incident increased tension between local Tajiks and Russian military personnel.

The Russian military presence in Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan, is Moscow's largest outside the country and consists of some 7,000 troops deployed at three different sites.