Landlocked and mountainous, Tajikistan is bordered by Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The country plunged into civil war soon after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. I travelled to Tajikistan in March and October 1992, on trips through Central Asia. In March an Islamist democratic government ruled. By October, the country was mired in conflict. A friend and I were caught up in a tank attack near Qurgonteppa and the beginning of the civil war, which lasted for five years, until 1997, when it ended with a United-Nations brokered peace agreement. An estimated 50,000 people were killed during the war. I wrote about this in chapter 9 of Picnic at the Iron Curtain
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