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Tajikistan's First President Dies, Aged 84

Qahhor Mahkamov, the first president of Tajikistan, who led the country until the eve of independence and at a time of profound political convulsions, has died at the age of 84.

Asia-Plus website reported on June 8 that Mahkamov had long been suffering from illness.

Mahkamov was born to a peasant family on April 16, 1932, in the northern city of Khujand, which produced much of Tajikistan Soviet elite. His career followed a classic Soviet trajectory.

In 1953, he graduated from the Leningrad mountain mining institute and that same year began working as an engineer at a coal mine in Shurab, a village straddling the border with Kyrgyzstan. While progressing steadily up the ranks of the mining sector, in 1957, he joined the Communist Party.

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Tajikistan's First President Dies, Aged 84

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