Friday, August 17, 2012 -
Tajik government troops have dismantled checkpoints in the eastern city of Khorog, where fighting between the army and gunmen last month killed dozens of people.
Local residents have angrily protested against the checkpoints over the last week since a soldier fatally shot two passengers of a taxi that failed to stop, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.
Six military checkpoints had been set up around Khorog, administrative center of Gorno-Badakhshan province, following a ceasefire ending fighting that left around 70 dead.
Unconfirmed reports say that military forces were also reportedly withdrawing from the area.
The clashes began July 24 when hundreds of government troops swept into the area to arrest the suspected killers of regional security chief General Abdullo Nazarov three days earlier.
The main suspect, former civil war opposition chief Olim Ayembekov, voluntarily surrendered to authorities and has denied complicity in the murder.
Intelligence authorities say they are negotiating the surrender of three other former commanders whom they would like to question with regard to the killing of Nazarov.
All four were accused of murder and of trafficking in drugs and precious stones, among other crimes.
Gunmen meanwhile handed-in hundreds of weapons and ammunition in return for immediate amnesties.