Radio Liberty’s Kyrgyz Service reported on June 2 that a Kyrgyz national has been hospitalized with a gunshot wound in another shooting near a disputed segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

The Kyrgyz Border Guard Service reportedly said on June 2 that the incident took place overnight in the southern Batken region.

According to the service, unknown individuals opened fire at a car with Kyrgyz license plates in the Eski-Tash district at around 1.30 a.m. local time.

The man in the car was wounded and is being treated at a hospital in the village of Samarkandek, the Border Guard Service said, adding that law enforcement officials from both nations are working together on the issue.

The Tajik side has reportedly not commented on the situation yet.

It is already the fourth shooting incident in the area in recent weeks.

The previous incident along the Tajik-Kyrgyz border reportedly took place on May 27, at 11:55. A statement released by the Main Border Guard Directorate at the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan, in particular, says that contrary to previously signed agreements, Kyrgyz national Soat Bakhtibekov, resident of the Koktash village, shot a 25-year-old Tajik woman Zuhrona Sharopova (Mutabarkhonum Zuhriddin), who was hospitalized with a gunshot wound.

The two countries have accused each other of escalating tensions along the border since early May.

Last year alone, there were at least fourteen cases of violence, in which six Tajik nationals and one Kyrgyz citizen were killed and more than 60 other people were injured. 

Many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan meet.

The border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been the scene of unrest repeatedly since the collapse of the former Soviet Union.  The countries share 971 kilometers of border – of which only 504 kilometers has reportedly been properly delineated.