During the last few days the Tajik opposition attacked government forces in the north and the south of the country’s bottleneck-shaped middle section, apparently aiming to cut it in a pincer move. In the north of that section, an estimated 300 opposition fighters under field commander Ahmadbek captured over the weekend the district center Jirgatal near the Kyrgyz border, taking part of the government force prisoners and forcing others into Kyrgyzstan. In the south of the bottleneck, the opposition resumed harassment of government troops in Tavildara from the dominant hills. The opposition also staged four attacks in the space of one week on government military and police posts in the Garm area. Dushanbe lodged protests with the UN mission for Tajikistan.
In the western city Tursunzade, former local mayor and warlord Ibod Boymatov made headway in yet another attempt at recapturing power, after two defeats in the space of one year at the hands of government forces. Supported by some of the local Uzbeks, like himself disgruntled former allies of Dushanbe, Boymatov is now reportedly back in control as deputy mayor and effectively running the town. (Interfax, Itar-Tass, September 6 through 8; Voice of Free Tajikistan, September 4 and 5)
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