Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan forces clash over border dispute

The two central Asian nations have seen a series of skirmishes over a disputed section of their shared border. 

So far it has been announced by Kyrgyzstani media that their troops suffered 17 casualties and of which one has been reported dead. On the opposite side, Tajikistan’s security committee has reported one person injured and one in critical conditions. 

The fighting is reported to have been sparked after confrontations between the local populations, with several injured as a result of rocks being thrown. 

Most of the conflict between the two nations comes from the need to control several sources of water supply along the border. At this point in time, almost a third of the frontier between the two ex-soviet republics is currently disputed, mainly regarding control of the fertile Fergana Valley. 

The violence started on Thursday with both sides claiming to be only reacting to the other’s provocation. Mortar and machine gun fire was exchanged between the two armies in the worst eruption of hostilities in recent times. 

Kyrgyzstan has declared a state of emergencies in the lower provinces of the Batken region and several residents from the border areas are being evacuated. This follows a series of events over the past week where several individuals being abducted along the border and suffering beatings by border personnel.

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Marco Rizzo

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October 2021
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