Kyrgyzstan Says Officer Killed In Tajik Border Shootout

Kyrgyzstan says officer killed in Tajik border shootout

Kyrgyzstan said a border officer was killed Monday in shooting at the country's contested frontier with Central Asian neighbour Tajikistan

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Sep, 2019 ) :Kyrgyzstan said a border officer was killed Monday in shooting at the country's contested frontier with Central Asian neighbour Tajikistan.

The death of the officer followed a row over construction at a non-demarcated section of the frontier, the Kyrgyz border service said.

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

"According to preliminary information, one soldier of the State Border Service of the Kyrgyz Republic died," the service said in a statement.

The shooting as well as construction work had stopped, the statement added.

The country's foreign ministry said the Tajik side had attempted to build "a military observation point" at the border, without Kyrgyzstan's agreement.

Meanwhile Tajikistan's border service said several Tajik citizens had been injured after Kyrgyz military mobilised and opened fire in the disputed area.

Kyrgyz border guards had attempted to "artificially escalate the situation on the state border line" with "provocative actions," the Tajik border service said.

It added that Kyrgyz were building an "unknown structure" in Tajik territory.

Flare-ups are common at the border, where large areas are not demarcated and competition for scarce land and water pits ethnic groups against each other.

Kyrgyz leader Sooronbai Jeenbekov met with Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon in July at talks hailed as historic, but no further progress has been made on demarcating the frontier.

Earlier that month Tajikistan said one of its citizens had been killed in fighting between Kyrgyz and Tajik communities in the Tajik territory of Vorukh, which is completely surrounded by Kyrgyz territory.

In March at least two people were killed in similar clashes in the same region.

Both Muslim-majority Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were part of the Soviet Union and border disputes worsened when the USSR fell apart in 1991.

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