Russia’s first deputy foreign minister Boris Pastukhov and deputy foreign minister Viktor Posuvalyuk conferred on August 21 and 22 in Moscow with the charge d’affaires of Iran and the ambassador of Pakistan, asking both countries to "exert a restraining influence" on Tajik insurgents using sanctuaries in Afghanistan, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday. In recent days, Russian officials in Tajikistan have asked Kabul to crack down on the Tajik opposition. Russian officials also conferred with Tajik prime minister Yahie Azimov and foreign minister Talbak Nazarov in Moscow in the last few days. Moscow is openly stating its concern over recent gains scored by United Tajik Opposition insurgents against government forces.
UTO vice chairman Akbar Turajonzoda said yesterday that opposition forces had captured the strategic bridge near Childara. Tajik president Imomali Rahmonov’s chief military adviser had said the previous day that government troops were defending the bridge and had suffered losses. (Reuter, Interfax, August 22. See also Monitor, August 22).
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