Kyrgyzstani and Tajikistani troops have exchanged gunfire along a contested stretch of border leaving one dead.
“The situation on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border has got out of control. Gunfire is still ongoing at this time. Troops are shooting,” said Marufkhan Tulayev, deputy head of Kyrgyzstan’s southern Batken region,
Kyrgyzstani Health Minister Aliza Soltonbekova reported that one person had died from gunshot wounds while 31 people needed hospitalization in the southern Batken region.
Tajik authorities reported that two Tajik citizens were also shot during the clash.
Kyrgyzstan said the fighting started after Tajik citizens started shooting at a military unit located in the village of Kok-Tash, while a skirmish was also reported from the Tajik side near the Kyrgyz village of Ak-Sai.
Tajikistan’s Border Guard Service claimed that it was Kyrgyz military personnel who first shot Tajik border units near the Golovnoi water distribution center that was located on disputed grounds.
There has been a longstanding conflict over water infrastructure at the frontier between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Kyrgyzstan had already declared a state of emergency in parts of its southern Batken region and evacuated three districts overnight.
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