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Protest disperses in Tajik town as army withdraws


Associated Press

DUSHNABE, Tajikistan (AP) — Protesters in a town in eastern Tajikistan have vacated the central square after government troops caved in to demands to withdraw.

Crowds abandoned their rally toward midnight Thursday after mediators, local leaders and security forces signed a deal on maintaining the peace.

The sit-in began in Khorog on Thursday, a day after the troops opened fire on a crowd protesting the unexplained killing of an influential local leader.

Clashes between troops and local armed groups in the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan province, which shares a long border with Afghanistan, left around 50 people dead last month.

Tajikistan's location makes it strategically important to the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan as a supply route.

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