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19 Sep, 2022 11:07

Death toll in clashes between ex-Soviet republics revealed

Some 100 people are reported killed on both sides during fighting between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
Death toll in clashes between ex-Soviet republics revealed

Dozens of people have been reported killed, on both sides, following last week’s clashes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, two former Soviet republics in Central Asia with conflicting claims to a large portion of their shared border.

A statement released on Sunday by the Kyrgyz Health Ministry said 59 Kyrgyz citizens were killed during the cross-border fighting. The hostilities also left 144 people injured on Kyrgyzstan’s side, the ministry added.

The Kyrgyz Security Council stated on Monday that 40 of its troops lost their lives during the shootout with Tajik forces. Kyrgyzstan is observing a day of national mourning on Monday for the victims.

Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday published a detailed timeline of alleged Kyrgyz acts of aggression against its country, complete with a breakdown of losses on its side. The total, according to the statement, was 33 fatalities, mostly civilians.

However, opposition politician Saijafar Usmonzoda claimed in a social media post on Saturday that the death toll on Tajikistan’s side was over 60.

The two nations have accused each other of initiating the surge in violence and targeting civilians in border areas. Kyrgyzstan has announced a mass evacuation from the affected areas, and said on Monday it was still unsafe for civilians to return.

The fighting raged from Wednesday to Saturday before the two sides delivered on a promise, made on Friday, to disengage their forces.

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have seen a number of border clashes since becoming sovereign states following the collapse of the Soviet Union. They share a 1,000km border, of which approximately one the third is contested.