BISHKEK: A shootout at the contested frontier between Central Asian Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan killed three Tajik and one Kyrgyz border officer, authorities said on Tuesday, as tensions in the region escalate.

Flare-ups are common at the border, where large areas are not demarcated and competition for scarce land and water pits ethnic groups against each other.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan accused each other of opening fire first on Monday, with Kyrgyzstan saying fighting broke out after the Tajik side erected a “military observation point” without agreement.

Tajik authorities said three officers were killed in the clashes and were buried on Tuesday, the Tajik service of Radio Free Europe reported. Earlier, they said “several” Tajiks had been injured in the shootout.

Kyrgyzstan said that 13 of its citizens were injured as well as the 40-year-old officer who was killed.

The country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday it had called in Tajik ambassador Sukhrob Olimzoda to protest the “illegal actions” of Tajikistan’s border service.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammetkalyi Abylgaziev travelled to the remote region following the clash.

Kyrgyz leader Sooronbai Jeenbekov met with Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon in July at talks hailed as historic, but no further progress has been made on demarcating the frontier.

Earlier that month, Tajikistan said one of its citizens had been killed in fighting between Kyrgyz and Tajik communities in the Tajik territory of Vorukh, which is completely surrounded by Kyrgyz territory.

In March, at least two people were killed in similar clashes in the same region.

Both Muslim-majority Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were part of the Soviet Union and border disputes worsened when the USSR fell apart in 1991.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019


Back to governance

Back to governance

While PDM has continued efforts to mount political pressure, it has been unable to force a crisis to challenge the PTI government.
Inequality virus
25 Jan 2021

Inequality virus

An Oxfam report calls for radical changes to the economic system.


Updated 25 Jan 2021

Where the buck stops

The rights to due process and security of person are accorded to every individual in this country.
25 Jan 2021

PPP’s plan?

THE PDM faces a fresh crisis as the PPP takes a conspicuously soft position on the long march. While the PDM talks ...
25 Jan 2021

Forward guidance

THE State Bank has taken the unusual step of issuing a forward guidance in its latest monetary policy statement to...
Updated 24 Jan 2021

Delayed olive branch

THE PTI government has finally mustered up sufficient political prudence to extend an olive branch to the opposition...
24 Jan 2021

Bureaucracy reform

WHILE the intention behind the endeavour may be lauded, the civil service reform package unveiled by the government...
24 Jan 2021

Minority rights

ON Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to safeguard religious sites around the world,...