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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tajik Violence Escalates

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- The government and opposition offered different accounts Wednesday of two days of fighting between government troops and opposition forces that left 21 people dead.

The clash, which ended Wednesday, was one of the most serious outbreaks of violence since the government and mostly Moslem opposition in this former Soviet republic signed a peace deal last year ending a five-year civil war.

The government said the incident began Tuesday when a group of gunmen ambushed police heading to arrest alleged criminals on the outskirts of the town of Kofarnikhon, some 30 kilometers east of the capital, Dushanbe.

But opposition leader Sayid Abdullo Nuri disputed that account, saying the clash was provoked by government troops.