One dead as clashes erupt on Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border

BISHKEK (TCA) — A shoot-out on a disputed section of the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the Ferghana Valley on September 16 left one border guard dead and more than 20 other people wounded, officials from both countries say, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Both sides blamed each other for starting the shooting in Kyrgyzstan’s Leylek district and the Bobojon Ghafurov district of Tajikistan.

The Tajik and Kyrgyz border agencies said the shooting, which they said followed a dispute over construction at a non-demarcated section of the border, stopped at 9:30 p.m. local time and that officials were trying to prevent further escalation.

Many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the volatile Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan meet.

Kyrgyzstan’s State Border Service said that the latest shooting left one of its border guards dead.

The Kyrgyz Health Ministry said that a total of 13 border guards and local residents sustained various injuries.

Local Tajik officials told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service that 12 citizens of Tajikistan had been hospitalized.

The incident comes amid simmering tensions between Kyrgyz and Tajik communities living near the contested border.

On July 22, clashes on another section of the border left at least one dead and several more wounded. About 150 women and children were later evacuated from a Kyrgyz village.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

View more articles fromTCA