Central Asia: Death toll in Kyrgyz-Tajik border clashes rises to 100
By Nazir Aliyev Tayfur, Bahtiyar Abdulkerimov, and Merve Berker
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan / TASHKENT, Uzbekistan / ANKARA, Turkey (AA): Kyrgyzstan’s death toll from recent border clashes with Tajikistan rose to 59, with 129 others getting injured, its Health Ministry said on Sunday. Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry said 25 civilians, including children, had lost their lives on Friday when the Kyrgyz side targeted Tajik villages.
Another 10 bodies were brought to medical facilities in the Batken region that borders Tajikistan and where forces of the former Soviet republics clashed over a border dispute.
Among the killed, 34 were reportedly from the Kyrgyz side, while the remaining 12 were from the Tajik side, the Emergencies Ministry of Kyrgyzstan noted.
The previous death toll stood at 36.
Kyrgyzstan said nearly 136,000 residents were evacuated from villages near Tajikistan.
Meanwhile, Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry said 25 civilians, including children, had lost their lives on Friday when the Kyrgyz side targeted Tajik villages.
In another statement, the Tajik Border Troops said the situation on the border is relatively calm, with occasional cease-fire violations.
“Tajikistan is in favor of restoring security and stability on the border,” it said, adding: “It directs all its efforts to negotiate and resolve the dispute through diplomacy.”
Border clashes started on Wednesday, with the two sides later agreeing to a cease-fire. Kyrgyzstan declared a state of emergency in Batken late Friday.
In a statement on Saturday, the UN secretary-general’s spokesman called on the leadership of the two countries to engage in dialogue for a lasting cease-fire. “Both sides should take full advantage of the existing mechanisms on the ground to defuse tensions,” Stephane Dujarric said.
* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk
Additional report by The Muslim News
[An infographic titled “Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border disputes continue for 31 years” is created in Ankara, Turkey on September 17, 2022. Borders drawn by the former Soviet Union regardless of ethnic, political, economic, and cultural factors caused critical issues between the newly independent Central Asian countries – Kyrgyzstanand Tajikistan. Photojournalist :Elmurod Usubaliev/AA]
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