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Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan struggle to reach ceasefire amid fresh border clashes

On the morning of September 16, intense fighting broke out on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in multiple villages across dozens of miles. The hostilities erupted just days after the two countries reported reaching a ceasefire following similar clashes earlier in the week.

Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security (GKNB) accused Tajikistan’s border forces of using heavy weaponry, multiple launch missile systems, and airpower in an attempt to seize Kyrgyz territory in violation of previous agreements. A video that circulated on social media appeared to show soldiers raising a Tajik flag over a school in the Kyrgyz village of Dostuk.

The Tajik GKNB claimed Kyrgyz forces shelled multiple villages using various types of “individual and crew-served weapons and military equipment.” The agency’s statement said Kyrgyzstan was trying to accuse Tajikistan of prolonging the conflict and that the Kyrgyz side was spreading “provocative information” on the Internet to “complicate the situation.”

Kyrgyzstan’s Health Ministry reported that at least 55 people were injured and at least two were killed in the fighting. On the Tajik side, authorities reportedly that at least one civilian was killed and at least three were injured.

While both Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan on Friday, neither mentioned the border flare-up in his speech. Shortly before 4:00 pm local time, a Kyrgyz official reported that the two sides had reached a ceasefire agreement. At around 7:00 pm local time, Kyrgyzstan’s border service reported that Tajik forces had begun to fire again.

Meduza cannot immediately verify these official statements.
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