Tajik militants take hostages

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MOSCOW (Reuter) - Armed opponents of President Rakhman Nabiyev of Tajikistan took control of his official residence in Dushanbe, the capital, as protesters gathered outside demanding his resignation, opposition officials said. The militants went in armed with rifles and grenades and were said to be holding hostage the mayor and some ministers.

The commander of Russian-controlled border forces in Dushanbe denied that Mr Nabiyev, a conservative ex-Communist, had fled to an army base. 'I spoke to him today by telephone. He is working at another building,' said Colonel Valery Ochinov. 'There's no shooting.'