Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border fighting claimed nearly 100 lives

Protesters pray during a rally near the Kyrgyz parliament in Bishek on 16 September following clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

At least 94 people have been killed in clashes on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border – the deadliest clashes in years.

Fighting between the two Central Asian states broke out on Wednesday, before a ceasefire was brokered on Friday.

Clashes regularly erupt between the two former Soviet republics, whose border remains contested.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appealed to the two countries to resolve their differences peacefully.

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan share a 1,000-km (600-mile) border, a third of which is disputed.

Clashes on the border led to unprecedented fighting between the two countries in 2021, when almost 50 people were killed. But the violence in recent days has led to a death toll of nearly 100 – almost doubling that.

Late on Sunday, Kyrgyzstan reported an additional 13 deaths from the fighting, taking its total death toll to 59. It added that more than 100 people had been injured.

Tajikistan said 35 of its citizens had been killed, and at least 20 had been injured.

Amid international pressure, the two sides signed a ceasefire on Friday. It has largely been upheld despite claims of some shelling since by both sides.

President Putin called for a de-escalation of tensions in phone calls with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov on Sunday, according to the Kremlin.

Mr Putin urged the two leaders to resolve the situation “exclusively by peaceful, political and diplomatic means as soon as possible,” a Kremlin statement said.

Both sides blame each other for the outbreak of violence.

Kyrgyzstan has declared Monday a day of national mourning for those killed in the clashes.

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