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Kyrgyz and Tajik Border Guards Clash in Separate Instances, Two Reported Killed

Kyrgyz border guards patrol at a border post in the village of Maksat, near the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, some 1,200 kilometers from Bishkek, on May 4, 2021. (Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP via Getty Images)
Kyrgyz border guards patrol at a border post in the village of Maksat, near the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, some 1,200 kilometers from Bishkek, on May 4, 2021. (Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP via Getty Images)

Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards exchanged fire in three separate incidents in a border dispute on Wednesday, killing at least two people, officials on both sides said.

The clashes came on the eve of a regional security summit, and a day after new fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan raised fears of instability spreading to other parts of the former Soviet Union while Russian forces fight in Ukraine.

Kyrgyz border guards accused the Tajiks of having taken positions at a part of the border that has not been demarcated. The Tajik side said Kyrgyz guards had opened fire on a Tajik outpost without any provocation.

Clashes at the border occur regularly, and last year almost triggered an all-out war between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, both allies of Russia that host Russian military bases.

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