Dushanbe (Tajikistan) (AFP)
Tajikistan said on Monday that last week’s border clashes with Kyrgyzstan left several dead in Tajikistan’s first admission of deaths.
Fighting between the two Central Asian countries erupted last Thursday, killing dozens of people and displacing thousands, but a ceasefire negotiated on the same day resulted in a gradual halt in the fighting that took place on Monday.
The attorney general’s office of Tajikistan, a closed authoritarian state that has remained largely silent since the fighting erupted, said it had opened criminal investigations against members of the Kyrgyz army and armed civilians over the violence. .
He said about 200 Kyrgyz soldiers and civilians, who started throwing stones, escalated the unrest which resulted in an exchange of gunfire.
“As a result of the armed attack, several people were killed and dozens more injured, and a large number of houses, border facilities, other sites and infrastructure were destroyed,” said a statement, without specifying the number. killed.
Clashes between communities on land and water along the long contested border occur regularly, with border guards often involved.
But the violence that erupted in the Batken region on Thursday was by far the most severe in the 30 years of independence from the former Soviet countries and raised fears of a wider escalation.
Kyrgyzstan announced on Monday the death of a four-year-old boy in the fighting, bringing the number of victims to 36 and 183 others injured.
Russia, which maintains military bases in the country, and neighboring Uzbekistan have said they are ready to intervene.
© 2021 AFP