Russian troops for Tajikistan

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MOSCOW (Reuter) - Russia sent troop reinforcements to Tajikistan yesterday to help defend servicemen in the Central Asian republic against attacks by feuding groups. Local officials said hundreds of people were killed or wounded in clashed between supporters and opponents of Rakhmon Nabiyev, who was ousted as president.

Armed groups have seized weapons from troops serving in Commonwealth units now under Russian control and taken servicemen hostage. A defence ministry spokesman said a 'limited military contingent' of Russian troops had arrived in Tajikistan to ensure the safety of military personnel and families, and to protect barracks.