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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tajik Cotton Heists

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan () -- Smugglers have tried to sneak 3,500 tons of cotton fiber out of Tajikistan so far this year, Itar-Tass reported Tuesday.

President Emomali Rakhmonov told a government meeting Monday that the number of cotton smuggling attempts has increased five times compared with last year, according to the news agency.

Rakhmonov said the recent attacks and assassinations of regional leaders could be linked to a cotton mafia war, the agency said.