Kyrgyz border guards opened fire at Tajik nationals, fortunately nobody was wounded, the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan says.

According to the press center of SCNS Main Border Guard Directorate, the incident took place in the village of Khoja Alo, which is subordinate to the Tajik northern city of Isfara, yesterday afternoon, at 3:30 pm.  

A statement released by Tajik border service says residents of Khoja Alo were changing water pipelines when 25-30 armed Kyrgyz border guards came and ordered them to stop working.  

Kyrgyz border guards stated that the area where residents of Khoja Alo were working is a disputable area and opened fire in their direction, according to the statement.  

Fortunately, nobody was wounded, the statement said.

The statement emphasized that that area is a Tajik territory and Kyrgyz border guards’ provocation is aimed at deteriorating the situation along the border.  

Tajik and Kyrgyz border guards are currently conducting negotiations with participation of representative of local authorities of the two countries.   

It is to be noted that many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan meet.

The border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has been the scene of unrest repeatedly since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.  The countries share 971 kilometers of border – of which only 504 kilometers has reportedly been properly delineated.

The two countries have accused each other of escalating tensions along the border since early May.

Last year alone, there were at least fourteen cases of violence, in which six Tajik nationals and one Kyrgyz citizen were killed and more than 60 other people were injured.