Over 90 dead in violence between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

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More than 90 dead in violence between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

Tensions remain high on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

At least 94 people have been killed this week in border clashes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan , the two camps said on Sunday. It is the worst violence in years between these countries which have established an uneasy truce.

The situation on the disputed border between these two former Soviet republics in Central Asia was however calm in the evening, according to Bishkek, after the signing of an emergency ceasefire on Friday.

Tajik diplomacy published a first detailed report on its side on Facebook on Sunday, reporting 35 dead and 25 wounded in the fighting between Wednesday and Friday, and saying that most of the dead were civilians.

This source assures that the Kyrgyz army notably killed 12 people during a drone strike on a mosque, 6 others during another drone attack against a school and 7 others during shootings at an ambulance.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) was unable to verify these statements from an independent source, in an authoritarian country that is very closed to the press .

For its part, in its latest report, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health indicated that 59 Kyrgyz had been killed in the Batken region, located in the south-west of Kyrgyzstan and bordering Tajikistan.

Bishkek also said 144 people were injured and Emergency Situations Minister Boobek Ajikeeb said on Sunday that 4 Kyrgyz soldiers were missing.

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov announced a national day of mourning on Monday.

This is an exceptionally serious human toll, during border fights, since the independence of these two countries in 1991.

Confrontation on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, seen from the Batken region in Kyrgyzstan.

The toll of the fighting now far exceeds that of previous major border fighting in April 2021, which left around 50 people dead and raised fears of a larger-scale conflict.

< p class="e-p">In telephone conversations, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Kyrgyz Presidents Sadyr Japarov and Tajik Presidents Emomali Rakhmon to avoid new clashes, in these countries where Moscow historically plays the role of ;arbitrator.

Vladimir Putin called on the parties to prevent further escalation and to take steps to resolve the situation as soon as possible, and this only through peaceful and politico-diplomatic means, according to a Kremlin statement.

The situation seemed to stabilize on Sunday. No major incidents were reported during the day.

In a statement, Kyrgyz border guards said that as of 10 p.m. local time, the situation at the border in the Batken and Osh regions remained tense, but with a stabilizing trend.

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Tensions at the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have led to the death of around 60 people. (archives)

As part of the agreements reached, the forces and resources sent as reinforcements are being withdrawn from the border to their usual places of deployment, the source added.

The forces of the two republics [Kyrgyz and Tajik] ensure the control of public order in the border territories and carry out patrols on the roads between the localities of Khujand and Kanibadam, in Tajikistan, and Arka and Borbordouk , in the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz border guards said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called officials from both sides by telephone to encourage dialogue for a lasting ceasefire, a United Nations spokesman said.

The border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is the scene of fighting regular. Nearly half of the 970 kilometers of common border has been contested since the breakup of the USSR, amid tensions over access to resources.

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