Kyrgyz authorities have rejected the statement released by Tajik border guard service’s office in the Sughd province, it "absolutely does not correspond to the real situation."

In a statement issued in the evening of October 19, the Border Guard Service of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan accused the Tajiks of using a photo of Kyrgyz military trucks taken last month as they were withdrawing from the border area, and falsely portraying it as a new photo to make it look as though Kyrgyzstan was concentrating its military equipment in the border area.

Tajik border forces are “deliberately disseminating distorted information in an attempt to provoke the population on the border into committing illegal actions,” the Kyrgyz border guard service said.

It is Tajik armed forces that have been installing firing positions, digging trenches across the entire perimeter of the border, and making incursions with unmanned aerial vehicles, Kyrgyz border guard service said.

“Since September 25, 2022, there have been more than 10 instances of [Tajik] drones conducting reconnaissance activities and violating the airspace of the Kyrgyz Republic,” they said.

The Kyrgyz border guard service has also accused the Tajik side of using mosques for training mercenaries and storing weapons and ammunition.  

Recall, the Office of the Border Guard Directorate of Tajikistan in the Sughd province released a statement on October 19 accusing Kyrgyzstan of targeted actions to escalate the situation and provoke the emergence of new armed conflicts.  

Tajik border service’s office in Sughd, in particular, says that despite agreements set out in a protocol of September 25, the Kyrgyz side takes deliberate actions aimed at escalating the situation in the border areas.  

The statement notes that provocative actions of individual citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic aimed at destabilizing the situation, preparation of firing positions, digging tranches, continued drawing up military hardware and regular violation of the airspace of the Republic of Tajikistan are a clear confirmation of malicious plans of the Kyrgyz side.  

It is noted that for the period from September 26 to October 15, unmanned flying vehicles (UFVs) of Kyrgyzstan violated the airspace of Tajikistan 13 times in the territories of the city of Isfara and the Bobojon-Ghafourov district in the Sughd province.  

“Despite oral and written agreements reached with the Kyrgyz side and in violation of the provisions of protocol No 2 of September 25, facts of transfer of heavy military hardware and additional military formations to the border area have been recorded,” says the statement.   

Frequent facts of military exercises reportedly indicate unfriendly intentions of the Kyrgyz side.

“There is a continuation of information attacks in the media and social networks targeting Tajikistan.  Recently, Kyrgyz media have actively disseminated materials about the newly acquired UFVs and testing of drones of own production,” says the statement released by Tajik border service’s office in the Sughd province.  

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan signed a protocol on the settlement of the situation along the mutual border on September 25.  The document was inked by the head of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Kyrgyzstan Kamchybek Tashiyev and his Tajik counterpart Saimumin Yatimov.

The border clashes that erupted on September 14 and continued for two days, where Kyrgyz and Tajik forces engaged in more than 12 places all along the border, after which the two sides agreed to a ceasefire on September 16, which has been largely held up despite several alleged incidents of shelling with a severe escalation on September 16 and 17. 

Kyrgyz officials say 59 of its citizens died in the September 14-17 clashes, and 183 more were injured.

Tajikistan has put its death toll at 41, but correspondents of Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported a higher number after talking to relatives and friends of victims of the violence.

They concluded that 70 people, including dozens of civilians, lost their lives and have compiled a list of those killed.

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

Kyrgyz authorities rejected the Tajik statement, saying it "absolutely does not correspond to the real situation."