Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border clashes claim nearly 100 lives


At least 94 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in clashes on the disputed Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border – the deadliest in years.

Fighting between the two Central Asian states broke out on Wednesday, before a ceasefire was agreed on Friday.

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov says shooting has stopped but “provocative statements” continue on the internet.

Violence regularly erupts between the two ex-Soviet republics, amid tensions over roads, land and water resources.

Both sides blame each other for the outbreak of violence. They share a 1,000-km (600-mile) border, a third of which is disputed.

President Japarov told the Kyrgyz nation on Monday that “we are able to fully provide for our soldiers and the displaced citizens”. “We also have funds for the rapid reconstruction of homes,” he added.

It is a day of mourning in Kyrgyzstan, which reported an additional 13 deaths on Sunday, taking its total death toll to 59. It added that more than 100 people had been injured.

Tajikistan said 35 of its citizens had been killed, and at least 20 injured.

Kyrgyzstan said some 137,000 people had been evacuated from conflict areas in Batken, a mountainous region surrounded to the north, west and south by Tajikistan. Kyrgyz media said some people had already started returning to their homes.

Tajikistan has not reported any mass evacuations.

Clashes on the border led to major fighting between the two countries in 2021, when almost 50 people were killed.

Amid international pressure, the two sides signed a ceasefire on Friday in neighbouring Uzbekistan, at a summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO). It has largely held, despite claims of some shelling since by both sides.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin called for a de-escalation of tensions in phone calls with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and President Japarov on Sunday, the Kremlin said. Russia has military bases in both countries.

Mr Putin urged the two leaders to resolve the situation “exclusively by peaceful, political and diplomatic means as soon as possible,” a Kremlin statement said.

Source : BBC