22 Aug 2013

State symbol dies

6:35 am on 22 August 2013

A tree planted in the centre of the capital of Tajikistan in Central Asia as a symbol of the state's "eternal independence" has dried up and died.

The coniferous sequoia, which was reportedly imported from the United States 50 years ago, was planted at a ceremony in Dushanbe by President Emomali Rakhmon in March.

It died as a result of dehydration amind a heatwave. A similar sequoia tree nearby, which was not planted by the president, is in better shape.

AFP reports strong winds earlier this year blew down a flag that officials had said was at the top of the world's tallest flagpole in Dushanbe.