24 dead in border clashes with Tajikistan

24 dead in border clashes with Tajikistan

A new outbreak of violence hits these two former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

the Kyrgyzstan said Friday, September 16 that at least 24 people had been killed in border clashes with Tajikistan, during a new outbreak of violence between these two former Soviet republics in Central Asia. “24 bodies were brought to health facilities in the Batken area“, located in the south-west of Kyrgyzstan and bordering Tajikistan, said the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health in a press release.

A ceasefire came into effect at 4:00 p.m. local time (12:00 p.m. in France) on Friday, but Kyrgyz border guards quickly accused the Tajik army of “to have opened fire again“. In the evening, they judged the situation “tense“, always affirming”repel enemy attacks“which benefits from reinforcements”in heavy equipment and automotive“. Their Tajik counterparts responded in a statement, denouncing “shots from the Kyrgyz side” in direction “of three villages in Tajikistan“.

De-escalation sign

During their meeting, the presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan had nevertheless called on their troops to a ceasefire, the first sign of de-escalation after several hours of intense fighting on the border. Japarov and Rakhmon agreed to “create a commission to investigate the cause of the incidents“, emphasizing the importance of resolving their differences”through political and diplomatic meansTajik Khovar news agency reported.

If clashes regularly take place on the border between these two former Soviet republics, entangled for many years in territorial disputes, the latest violence has marked a notable aggravation. Russia on Friday expressed its “concern“. Russian President Vladimir Putin has judged the situation “tense“. According to Bishkek, Tajik forces on Friday shelled the Kyrgyz town of Batken, located near a disputed area between the two countries. The Kyrgyz health ministry said 87 people were hospitalized on Friday, according to a new toll.

19,000 people evacuated

Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security reported Friday morning that “intense clashes” and “violentwere taking place in the border area, accusing Tajikistan of “bombard Kyrgyz territory with all available arsenal“. He reported the use of “heavy armor, multiple rocket launchers and aviationby Tajikistan. “Kyrgyzstan did not cross the border, it all started when (the Tajiks) entered our territory“, Supported the head of the Committee, Kamtchybek Tachiev, in the evening.

The inhabitants of several border villages have fled the combat zone, indicated the Kyrgyz Ministry of Emergency Situations, which evokes tens of thousands of displaced persons. The local branch of the Red Crescent said that at least 19,000 people living near Batken had been evacuated. Dushanbe accused Kyrgyz forces of opening fire early Friday on Tajik border crossings, without immediately reporting casualties in its ranks.

Clashes between the two countries earlier this week left two Tajik border guards dead and several injured on both sides. The border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is the scene of regular deadly clashes. Almost half of the 970 kilometers of common border is disputed and progress in terms of demarcation has been slow in recent years. The year 2021 has seen an unprecedented number of clashes between the two sides, leaving more than 50 dead and raising fears of the widening of the conflict.

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