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Clashes with Tajikistan kill two dozen on Kyrgyzstan side

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Clashes with Tajikistan kill two dozen on Kyrgyzstan side

“Twenty-four bodies have been brought into the health establishments in the Batken region,” says Kyrgyz Health Ministry, adding clashes wounded 87 others. Tajikistan has not released details of its casualties. Fighting regularly flares up between the two mountainous countries that share a 970-km border, with around half of the frontier contested. (TRTWorld) At least 24 people have been killed in the latest border clashes with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan said, after leaders of both Central Asian countries met in Uzbekistan and ordered their troops to draw down and end fighting. 

“Twenty-four bodies have been brought into the health establishments in the Batken region” in the southwest of the country by the border with Tajikistan, a statement from the Kyrgyz Health Ministry said on Friday. 

Earlier on Friday, Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon met his Kyrgyz counterpart Sadyr Japarov at Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand city and ordered their forces to draw down after border clashes left dozens injured.

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“The leaders of the two countries agreed to instruct the relevant structures to cease fire and withdraw forces and assets from the line of contact,” the Kyrgyz presidency said in a statement following the meeting, after Kyrgyz authorities announced a ceasefire deal had been reached.

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Kyrgyzstan had accused Tajikistan's forces of escalating the fighting by firing rockets on the border town of Batken, with a population of around 30,000 people in the southeast of the country.

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Shortly after, Kyrgyzstan's border guards said in a statement that the two countries' national security chiefs had agreed on a ceasefire.

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Blame game

Kyrgyzstan's border guard service said “violent clashes” had broken out “along the entire perimetre of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border in the Batken region”

It accused Tajikistan of using heavy weapons, including rocket launchers and jets, but said its forces were repelling the attacks “making it impossible for them to capture settlements in Kyrgyzstan.”

Tajikistan meanwhile accused Kyrgyz forces of the “intensive” shelling of homes and civilian infrastructure. It has not released details of casualties

Fighting regularly flares up between the two mountainous countries that share a 970-km border, with around half of the frontier contested

In 2021, unprecedented clashes between the two sides killed 50 people

The latest violence, which had revived fears of an all-out conflict, has already forced thousands to flee their homes

Source: Reuters