Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 26

On February 4 an armed group commanded by Bakhrom Sodirov seized a traveling party of UN military observers — including two Swiss, an Austrian, a Ukrainian, and their Tajik interpreter — near Obigarm, some 90 kilometers east of Dushanbe. In separate incidents yesterday, Sodirov’s detachment seized two reporters from the Moscow-based NTV network, and one each from Interfax and Itar-Tass, and then two international Red Cross workers — a Briton and a Tajik. Two of the four journalists are female. The captors have offered to release the hostages if Bakhrom Sodirov’s brother, Rizvon Sodirov, and the latter’s armed unit is allowed free passage into Tajikistan from Afghanistan. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, NTV, January 4-5)

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