The Kyrgyz authorities have restarted constructing a road about Vorukh, a Tajik exclave in Kyrgyz territory, in contrary to an agreement that was reached on construction of this road, the Main Border Guard Directorate of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan says in a statement thaw a released on March 14.

The Kyrgyz side used firearms against civilians and took 30 nationals of Tajikistan hostage, according to the statement. 

Tajik border service says the clashes broke out on March 13 after the Kyrgyz authorities attempted to resume work on constructing the Koktosh-Aksai-Tamdyk road.    

“When residents of Vorukh began protesting against the construction of the road they fired at them from Kyrgyz territory,” says the statement.  “Besides, Kyrgyz power-wielding structures blocked the road connecting Vorukh and Isfara and took passengers (all of them are residents of Vorukh) of two fixed-route taxis hostage.  They were held in “Aksai” border unit.  50-60 residents of the Kyrgyz village of Aksai, led by the village community head Erkin Zhalchiyev, threw stones at residents of Vorukh.  As a result, eleven people were hospitalized with serious injuries.”  

The hostages were later released.

The Tajik border service also confirmed that the 43-year-old Husein Hakimov was shot from Kyrgyz territory.  He was reportedly shot from hunting gun.  Hakimov was reportedly wounded in the heart area and died in a hospital.

“Besides, police officer Saidsharif Avezzoda, 46, and residents of the jamoat Rahim Ayubov and Maqsadjon Atamov sustained gunshot wounds, while Abdumajid Mullojonov was injured in stone attack,” the statement notes. 

Moreover, Kyrgyz nationals reportedly set fire to warehouse of Abdumajid Mullojonov and mill in the Chorkuh jamoat.    

In the March 13 clash, dozens of people were affected and several men were wounded.  The violence then escalated and Tajik national Husein Hakimov was shot dead. 

According to some media reports, the Kyrgyz government said one of its own citizens was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest.    

Border guards from both sides have intervened to prevent further escalation and authorities of Tajik Sughd province and Kyrgyz Batken region were discussing the matter.

The Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan border remains one of the last undefined frontiers in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).  Despite repeated incidents over the past several years, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan remain unable to settle their Fergana valley border.

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have been unable to agree on the location of the border they inherited when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.  As the population in the dense Ferghana Valley grows, it has become increasingly difficult to demarcate the contested sections, where valuable agricultural land often lies. 

The area at the focus of unrest among residents of border areas of the two countries lies on the jagged frontier where the east of Tajikistan’s Sughd province and Kyrgyzstan’s Batken region meet.  Skirmishes have sparked between residents of Isfara (Tajikistan) and Batken (Kyrgyzstan) districts along the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border. Trouble periodically sparks around the Tajik exclave of Vorukh.