Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 135

According to Colonel Vasily Likholet, spokesman of Tajikistan’s Defense Ministry, government troops backed by aviation and artillery are currently counterattacking against insurgent forces in Tavil-Dara rayon, part of the larger Garm area in the Pamir foothills. Dushanbe military intelligence sources for their part confirm recent press reports that government forces are using aviation and artillery against villages in the area. Likholet said that six Tajik government soldiers were killed in the latest fighting, but other military sources put the losses at 50 to 60 killed. According to a Moscow TV report from Tajikistan, the theater of military action is "the only part of Tajikistan where the number of Russians is not only not decreasing, but actually increasing"–due to military deployment. In a letter to UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, made public yesterday, Tajik opposition coalition leader Akbar Turajonzoda accused the government troops of deliberately

bombarding villages and of violating the September 1994 cease-fire agreement which banned additional force deployments by either side in the area. (13)

The air bombardments were reported not unsympathetically by Pravda last month. The airmen, and probably artillery and other specialists with government forces, are far more likely to be Russian than Tajik. A fifth round of government-united opposition talks is overdue at least since September.

1. Reuter, Interfax, November 16

2. Interview with Kommersant, November 14

3. NTV, Itar-Tass, Radio Russia, November 14

4. Interfax, November 15

5. Interfax, Itar-Tass, Russian Radio, November 13-15

6. BNS and Itar-Tass, November 14 and 15

7. Radio Ukraine, November 12 and 13; Interfax-Ukraine, November 14

8. Segodnya, November 1

9. Interfax November 15; Belarusian Radio, November 15

10. Petroleum Information Agency, November 13 and 15

11. Russian TV and Radio, November 12 through 14; see also the November 15 Monitor

12. Interfax and Western agencies, November 14 and 15

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