Authorities of Vorukh, Tajikistan’s exclave in Kyrgyzstan, say Kyrgyz border guards have abducted and beaten two Tajik teens.  

The incident reportedly took place in the afternoon of April 25.  “8th grade students O. Ghafourov and I. Saidov were grazing the cow and collecting snowdrops when Kyrgyz border guards kidnapped and beat them,” Ghafourjon Jourayev, the head of Tojikon mahalla in Vorukh jamoat, told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

He suggested that the children had been beaten for herding cattle in a disputed territory.

“Although this pasture is of Tajikistan, Kyrgyz border guards consider it a disputed territory.  They beat and actually kidnapped the children from Tajik territory,” Jourayev said.  

According to him, the Kyrgyz military brought the children back only an hour later, after the intervention of the Tajik border guards.  

Mehriniso Rahmatova, the head of Vorukh jamoat, says the incident took place in Tajik territory.  “The site of the incident, which is just above Zahmatobod village, is the pasture of Tajikistan, though Kyrgyz border guards consider it the disputed territory,” she told Asia-Plus in a short conversation. 

Physicians from Vorukh hospitals say the injuries inflicted on the children are minor, but they are severely intimidated.   

Kyrgyz authorities have not yet commented on this incident. 

Meanwhile, Kyrgyz foreign ministry on April 26 summoned Tajikistan Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Nazirmad Alizoda to hand him a note over abduction of two Kyrgyz citiznes by Tajik border guards on April 24.  

Tajik foreign ministry and law enforcement authorities have also not yet commented on this incident.  

Vorukh is a jamoat in northern Tajikistan.  It is an exclave surrounded by Kyrgyzstan that forms part of the city of Isfara in the Tajik northern Sughd province. 

Due to the inherent territorial restrictions of the exclave, violent conflicts over land ownership, access to pasture, and shared water resources have become more common, as logistical complications within this densely populated and impoverished region have also given rise to economic concern.