New Conflict Emerges in Central Asia

Tajik soldiers fired on Kyrgyz village with grenade launchers

The head of a village with the symbolic name of International was taken hostage by Tajik citizens, according to Interfax news agency citing Ms. Damira Yusupova, the official representative of the Batken region (Kyrgyzstan) police department.

As the official noted, the Tajik military started gathering armored machinery to the Leylek district of the Batken region in Kyrgyzstan.

«Tajik soldiers have broken into houses of the Kyrgyz citizens and taken the head of the International village hostage. The situation at the border between the two countries is still raising concerns,» she said.

The police department of the Leylek district has already opened a case alleging crime against peace, Yusupova added.

In another announcement, deputy head of the Batken region Marufkhan Tulayev reported an attack by Tajik soldiers on Kyzyl Bel, a village in the region.

«They shelled the village on the Kyrgyz side with grenade launchers. Currently, we are trying to investigate the attack,» he said.

Despite a ceasefire declared by officials of the two countries, many have witnessed fire-fights and fires in several Kyrgyz villages. Heavy military vehicles are also gathering on the scene.

According to the Kyrgyzstani Ministry of Health, thirteen people have died and 134 were wounded.

Earlier on April 29, Tajik and Kyrgyz military started a fire-fight in a dispute over water sources in the region. Now, officials from both sides are planning to negotiate peacefully to de-escalate the border tensions.

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