ISFARA, March 11, Asia-Plus  - Another Tajik national has been injured in a landmine explosion on the Tajik-Uzbek border in the Sughd province, Asia-Plus has leaned from Burhon Yusupov, representative from the Isfara branch of Tajikistan’s Red Crescent Society (RCS).  

According him, the incident took place in Isfara’s Lakkon jamoat Tuesday afternoon.  “Local resident Kholmirzo Niyozov, his wife and their two children were gathering firewood along the border,” said Yusupov.  “Kholmirzo Niyozov was seriously injured after the landmine.along the border exploded” Yusupov noted that the area has been marked with special plates warning of danger exploded.  

Niyozov was hospitalized and he is currently in stable condition, according to Yusupov.  

This incident, like many before it, highlights a serious problem for many Tajik citizens following the Uzbek government’s unilateral decision in the summer 1999 to mine rural border areas between the two countries.  The action was reportedly taken to stave off incursions by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).  No one IMU militant has been blown up by these mines, while casualties among the civilian Tajik population have increased.

Since that time, 71 Tajiks have been killed and 84 others have been injured in mine explosions on the Tajik-Uzbek border.  Most of the victims were women and children who were gathering firewood along the border as well as shepherds pasturing cattle in the areas.  Almost all who have survived, have become disabled for life,