MOSCOW (AP) _ An airliner from the central Asian nation of Tajikistan was hijacked today during a flight to Moscow and diverted to a central Russian city, security officials said.

A duty officer of Russia's Federal Security Service said the Tu-154 of Tajikistan Airlines was seized by an unidentified gang and had been diverted to the city of Samara. Reports indicated there were up to 15 hijackers on the plane, officials said.

The plane had 136 passengers and crew on board and at least 90 people were released after the flight landed in Samara, officials said.

An anti-terrorist team was dispatched to the scene.

The Interfax news agency reported from Moscow that the terrorists were believed to be Kurdish separatists. But security officials said the hijackers' identity or motives had not been established.

The hijackers were demanding to be taken to Iran, Interfax reported.

The plane was en route from the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.