POSITIONAL FIGHTING IN TAJIKISTAN.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 132

Tajikistan government troops’ loss include six killed, 17 wounded, and more than 40 disabled by frostbite in a positional fight with resistance forces in the Tavil-Dara district, according to military sources in Dushanbe. The resistance in Tavil-Dara seeks to establish a zone free of government troops and to cut off the only road, which passes through this district, between central Tajikistan and the Badakhshan region. A 250-strong resistance detachment operates there "rather successfully, although the [government] troops’ strength surpasses that of the opposition several times," the Dushanbe military sources said. UN observer mission leader Darko Silovic expressed concern that continuing deferment of a new round of inter-Tajik talks could lead to more fighting. (16)

Positional fighting is an unusual feature of the Tajikistan war, which usually consists of incursions by mobile resistance units and pursuit operations by government and Russian troops. Positional fighting would, in itself, indicate that the resistance seeks to hold on to a contested area. Badakhshan region is a theater of activity and source of recruitment for the insurgents. The fifth round of government-opposition talks has had to be postponed repeatedly since August, owing to the government’s intransigence on procedural issues.

1. BBC World Service, November 11, 1995

2. Russian agencies, November 10-12

3. The Financial Times, November 13

4. Interfax-Eurasia, November 9

5. BNS and Interfax, November 10

6. Interfax, November 10

7. Reuter, November 11

8. Radio Ukraine International, November 8

9. Interfax, November 10

10. Itar-Tass, November 10

11. Interfax, November 9

12. Kontakt News Agency, November 9

13. Interfax, November 8; Aragil, November 11

14. Western and Russian agencies, November 10-11

15. Petroleum Information Agency, November 10

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