Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 85

Opposition field commander Mansur Muakalov on May 1 released three out of six police officers whom his detachment had seized last week in the Yavon district, approximately seventy kilometers southeast of Dushanbe. In that operation, a forty-strong opposition unit overran the police post, set it on fire after seizing the weapons and absconded with the captives in opposition-controlled territory in the Kofarnikhon district. Muakalov is negotiating with the government for the release of five opposition fighters detained by the government despite the amnesty which covers opposition fighters.

The government, for its part, complains that opposition groups are setting up unlawful checkpoints on roads and are roaming about freely with their weapons, in violation of the pacification agreements, which prohibit such unauthorized activities and restrict the opposition detachments to their bases. Last week, two officers of the government’s border troops–a lieutenant-colonel and a senior lieutenant–were assassinated on the outskirts of Dushanbe. The government blames the unit of opposition commander Rahmon Sanginov, which has been entrenched just outside Dushanbe for at least two years and makes regular forays inside the capital. These incidents suggest that the government’s writ remains very limited and the security situation precarious, even as the campaign for general elections approaches (Itar-Tass, April 29-30, May 1).

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