A new clash that has broken out among residents of border areas of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has left at least one dead ad several wounded.

There are rival accounts about what sparked the fighting on the afternoon of July 22.

Residents of Tajikistan’s Vorukh exclave in Kyrgyzstan told Asia-Plus by phone that the clash erupted yesterday when people on the Kyrgyz side sought to erect a roadside sign bearing the name of an adjacent village of Ak-Sai on Tajik territory.  

According to them, Kyrgyz villagers used hunting guns in the violence, while Tajiks threw stones.

One resident of Vorukh, Jalol Qaroyev, was killed and several others were wounded in the clash.  Three of them are reportedly in critical condition.

Meanwhile, Kyrgyz news agency 24.kg, citing the Kyrgyz border service, reports the tensions spilled over when residents of Vorukh exclave began installing Tajik flags on the Isfara-Vorukh road, which angered Kyrgyz villagers. The road has now been blocked by Kyrgyz residents as troops restore calm.   

The clash broke out just days before the presidents of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were to meet for talks at a conflict-prone border crossing.  Villagers on both sides of the Tajik-Kyrgyz border have been hanging flags ahead of visits by the presidents of the two countries to the region.