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24 killed, scores wounded in clashes on Kyrgyz-Tajik border

MOSCOW — Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan traded blame for preventing on the border Friday that killed a minimum of 24 individuals, wounded dozens and prompted a mass evacuation.

Kyrgyzstan’s Well being Ministry mentioned early Saturday that 24 our bodies had been delivered to hospitals within the Batken area that borders Tajikistan. An extra 87 individuals have been wounded, the ministry mentioned.

Clashes on the border that started earlier this week grew into large-scale preventing Friday involving tanks, artillery and rocket launchers. As a part of the shelling, Tajik forces struck the regional capital, Batken, with rockets.

Kyrgyzstan’s Emergencies Ministry mentioned 136,000 individuals have been evacuated from the realm engulfed by the preventing.

It wasn’t instantly clear what prompted the preventing on the tense border between the 2 former Soviet Central Asian neighbors. An try to determine a cease-fire shortly failed and artillery shelling resumed later within the day.

Border guard chiefs of the 2 international locations met round midnight and agreed to create a joint monitoring group work to assist finish hostilities. It wasn’t instantly clear whether or not the assembly had any impact on the preventing.

In 2021, a dispute over water rights and the set up of surveillance cameras by Tajikistan led to clashes close to the border that killed a minimum of 55 individuals.

In accordance with the Kyrgyz border service, Friday’s preventing erupted early within the morning, when Tajik forces first fired at Kyrgyz border guards. As tensions mounted, the border service accused Tajikistan of utilizing mortars, tanks and armored automobiles to shell Kyrgyzstan’s positions, focusing on an airport close to the border with a number of rocket launchers and destroying civilian infrastructure.

Tajik border officers, in the meantime, charged that the Kyrgyz forces subjected Tajik border villages “to intensive mortar bombardment and shelling” from “all varieties of accessible heavy weapons and firearms.” Tajik authorities mentioned that they proposed negotiations and a cease-fire, however that Kyrgyz troops reportedly ignored the presents.

The Kyrgyz border service later issued an announcement saying the 2 international locations’ safety chiefs had agreed to stop hostilities beginning at 4 p.m., however the truce failed virtually instantly.

The presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Sadyr Zhaparov and Emomali Rakhmon, met Friday on the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Group in Uzbekistan. In accordance with an announcement on Zhaparov’s web site, the 2 leaders mentioned the border state of affairs and agreed to job the related authorities with pulling again troops and stopping the preventing.

Kyrgyz media mentioned Zhaparov returned to Kyrgyzstan from the Uzbek metropolis of Samarkand and instantly gathered the nation’s Safety Council for a gathering.

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