Tajik leader in hostage talks

Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov hopes to hold direct talks today with a rogue group of Islamic rebels still holding six hostages, including United Nations workers. Presidential spokesman Zafar Saidov said that Mr Rakhmonov would go to the village of Obigarm, 80 km east of the capital Dushanbe, to negotiate with brothers Bakhrom and Rizvon Sadirov.

The Sadirovs hold five UN workers and Tajik security minister Saidamir Zukhurov, seized during negotiations. "Bakhrom said he was ready to negotiate directly with the President and the President readily accepted the proposal," Mr Saidov said. Reuters - Dushanbe

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