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Yeltsin attacks army chiefs

President Boris Yeltsin criticised his top military leaders yesterday for being unprepared to repel Tajik rebel attacks on Tajikistan from Afghanistan, Reuter reports from Moscow.

Mr Yeltsin convened a meeting of Russia's powerful Security Council to consider the tension on the border between the former Soviet republic and Afghanistan. 'Why have we been completely unprepared' for the conflict he asked, Itar-Tass news agency said.

Islamic rebels, attacking from Afghanistan two weeks ago, killed 25 Russian border guards. Moscow, keen to preserve stability in its neighbouring republic, has stationed forces on Tajikistan's frontier under a bilateral agreement.