Kyrgyzstan’s online news agency says four Kyrgyz nationals have been detained on suspicion of triggering the latest incident on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

Citing Batken police department, reported on January 14 that by ruling handed down by the Kadamja district court Nurbek Saparbayev, Usen Saparbayev, Ulugbek Saparbayev and Zainidin Berdiyev will be in custody for a month.

All of them are residents of the Kok-Tash village and they were reportedly detained on January 11 on suspicion of breaking window glasses of cars of nationals of Tajikistan.

Meanwhile, Radio Liberty’s Kyrgyz Service reports that Kyrgyz and Tajik officials have held initial talks on border issues following another round of clashes between Kyrgyz and Tajiks residing close to a disputed segment of the countries’ shared border.

The talks were reportedly held at a border checkpoint near the Tajik village of Guliston and the Kyrgyz village of Kyzyl-Bel in the southern Batken region on January 14.

Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Jenish Razakov, who led the Kyrgyz delegation at the talks, told RFE/RL that the sides did not reach agreement during the first round of talks.

The Tajik delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister Azim Ibrohim.

The talks are being held after gunshots were fired along the border on the night of January-9-10.  Both sides have blamed each other for the incident   

Kyrgyz officials have said gunshots were fired from the Tajik side, prompting the brief evacuation of 254 Kyrgyz nationals, including 139 children, from a village near the location of the clashes. No casualties were reported.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry summoned the Tajik ambassador over the incident, while Tajikistan blamed the residents of the Kyrgyz village for provoking the unrest.

A statement released by the Main Border Guard Directorate at the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan on January 10 says that a large group of residents of the Kyrgyz village of Kok-Tash armed with hunting guns gathered near the house of Kyrgyz national Sultanbek Abdullayev on Thursday evening.  They reportedly prevented the passage of citizens of Tajik citizens to the village of Somoniyon in the Chorkuh jamoat subordinate to the Tajik northern city of Isfara.  

The segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border in the southern Batken region where the incident took place has seen similar clashes in the past, including at least 14 clashes last year, in which six Tajik nationals and one Kyrgyz citizen were killed and more than 60 other people were injured.

The countries share 971 kilometers of border – of which only 504 kilometers has reportedly been properly delineated.