Gunfire erupts in Dushanbe

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The Independent Online
MOSCOW (Reuter) - Fighting was raging in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, and tanks and heavy weapons were being used in the streets, an official with Tajikistan's national security committee said yesterday.

'We do not know who is fighting whom, but there is heavy fighting going on all around us,' said the official, who was contacted by telephone from Moscow. 'Tanks . . . and machine-guns are all being used,' he said. However, another security official said the situation in the city was normal.

One witness at the Tajikistan hotel in central Dushanbe said by telephone that people were running away from the hotel. 'There's a helicopter gunship flying just above our hotel,' he said. Bursts of gunfire interrupted the conversation.