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Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan clash over water distribution station

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have clashed over access to water resources along the northern border lying between the Sogdia Province of Tajikistan and the Batken Region of Kyrgyzstan.

The conflict began on 28 April, with the press department of the Tajikistan State Committee for National Security reporting that a conflict near the Golovnoy water distribution station at the head of the Isafara River had broken out. According to the report, seven Tajik citizens were wounded. The next day the Border Service of the Kyrgyzstan State Committee for National Security blamed Tajikistan for the conflict and reported that four Kyrgyz personnel had been wounded.

By the early morning of 29 April Kyrgyzstan had imposed a state of emergency in the rural districts of Ak-Say, Ak-Tatyr, and Samarkandek rural. Both sides described the situation in the conflict zone as turbulent.

On 29 April at 1305 h local time Kyrgyz servicemen allegedly opened fire at Tajik border guards near the Golovnoy water distribution station, while Kyrgyzstan blamed Tajikistan for firing assault rifles, machine guns, and mortars in the area. The exchanges led to fires breaking out at Kyrgyzstan’s Dostuk border guard station, a school, and some 10 houses. In a response to Tajik operations the special forces of the Kyrgyz Board Guards assaulted Tajikistan’s Khojah Alloh border guard station and captured it. At approximately 1700 h local time both sides reported a concentration of their troops near the conflict zone.

Kyrgyzstan reported 13 people killed and 134 wounded, including 22 border guards, while Tajikistan reported about nine wounded, including two with gunshot wounds.

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