TAJIK OPPOSITION CAPTURES MAJOR TOWN; GOVERNMENT NETS DEFECTOR.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 224
The Tajik opposition yesterday captured the district center of Garm, defeating superior forces fielded by the Internal Affairs and State Security Ministries. The opposition’s successful operation, which was credited to Field Commanders Mahmadruzi Iskandarov and Mirzo Zieyev, also netted for it materiel and prisoners. The Dushanbe government conceded the loss of the town and said that it had lost all contact with the area. (Interfax, December 1) The government also admitted today that it is conducting air strikes against Garm in an attempt to retake the town. The aircraft crews are most probably Russian. (Itar-Tass, December 2) The capture of Garm, which serves as the center of a cluster of districts, increases the area under opposition control in Tajikistan’s narrow middle section. It also brings the opposition closer to its goal of isolating the country’s eastern and central regions from Dushanbe in the west. The government troops’ defeat, despite their superiority, and the apparent readiness of some of them to surrender, confirms their poor morale.
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