Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan blame each other for renewed cross-border skirmishes
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan border guards exchanged gunfire again on Friday morning, after tensions escalated earlier in the week.
Kyrgyz military officials accused Tajikistan of having “treacherous attack on the border and civilian installations” and claimed that sporadic clashes were taking place “all along the border” as the situation remained tense at 03:00 GMT. The Bishkek government reportedly ordered evacuations from several border areas.
Tajikistan, in turn, claimed Kyrgyz border guards shelled one of their border crossings with mortars and accused the neighbor of carrying out an unprovoked attack. “armed attack” on several colonies.
There has been no official confirmation of the deaths from the latest outbreak. Earlier, a gunfight erupted Wednesday morning at the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border, killing at least one soldier and injuring several others. Tensions sometimes rise between the two Central Asian countries as they fail to fully agree on their 1,000 km long border.
Although Russia has no common borders with either, the two former Soviet states are part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a mutual defense pact, analogous to the bloc of US-led NATO, made up of six former Soviet republics, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
In another border incident this week, fellow CSTO member Armenia blamed neighbor Azerbaijan for launching artillery and drone strikes early Tuesday. Dozens of soldiers from both sides were killed in the ensuing firefight. However, after Yerevan requested help from the military bloc, Azerbaijan offered a “humanitarian ceasefire”.
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