A helicopter of Tajikistan’s Presidential Guard crashed or was downed last week while overflying the Anzob pass in the Zeravshan mountain range. All ten aboard, according to the government’s May 8 announcement, were killed (Itar-Tass, May 8). The area, situated seventy kilometers north of Dushanbe, midway to Hujand, was a battleground last November during the antigovernment campaign of rebel Colonel Mahmut Hudoberdiev, some of whose supporters remained there after the government’s victory.
This is the second known helicopter loss sustained recently by Russian and Tajik forces during overflights of restive areas. Last month the Chief of Staff of Russian border troops in Tajikistan, Major-General Mikhail Bersenev, and two Russian colonels were among eighteen Russian officers killed in a helicopter crash in the Panj sector of the Tajik-Afghan border. Russian military authorities asserted that the helicopter’s flight path had stayed within Tajik territory on the right bank. They have yet, however, to clarify whether the helicopter had crashed or been shot down (Itar-Tass, April 20).
ANARCHY SYMPTOMS IN TAJIKISTAN.