Russian military helicopters arrived in the Afghan town of Tolukan to airlift 40 waiting pro-Sodirov fighters to the Sodirov brothers’ camp in Tajikistan in exchange for the 14 hostages held there. However, the transfer failed to take place yesterday as scheduled. Dushanbe claimed that the Sodirovs also hold local Tajik civilians hostage, and demanded that the number of hostages released should match the number of the pro-Sodirov fighters to be airlifted from Afghanistan. The Sodirovs retorted that they might ask for all of their 140 fighters to be airlifted. (Russian and Western agencies, February 12-13)
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