The information about the latest gunfire along the contested segment of the volatile Tajik-Kyrgyz border has been updated. 

A source at the Isfara central city hospital told Asia-Plus Tuesday afternoon that one Tajik border guard was killed and three others wounded in the an exchange of fire with Kyrgyz border guards that took place on the morning of June 14.  

The Tajik border that was shot dead was identified as a 26-year-olf resident of Jaihoun (formerly Qumsangir) district in Khatlon province.

As far as the wounded border guards are concerned, the source says they were slightly wounded and “their health conditions are assessed as stable.”  

The situation in the Kekh area remains tense and negotiations are still under way. Border guard commanders and local governors are reportedly in talks regarding the incident, an official source within Tajikistan’s power-wielding structures told Asia-Plus in an interview Tuesday afternoon.   

Kekh area; photo / Zubaidullo Shomadov.

According to him, the Kyrgyz side opened fire in the direction of the Tajik border outpost at around 6:00 am (Tajikistan time – Asia-Plus) for no reason, using mortars.  

Tajik authorities have not yet officially commented on the incident. 


The Kyrgyz side has a different version 

According to a statement by the Kyrgyz border guards, a shot was fired from the Tajik border outpost of Kekh in the direction of the Kyrgyz border checkpoint in the Bulak-Bashi area of the Kyrgyzstan's Batken region at around 7 am (Kyrgyzstan time – Asia-Plus).  The Kyrgyz military there "returned fire in the direction of the Tajik outpost," says a statement released by Kyrgyz border service on the same day.  The statement did not report any casualties on the Kyrgyz side. 

Citing Kyrgyz border service, Kyrgyz media reports say Tajik military used grenade launchers and mortars. 


Recall, several troops on both sides were wounded in a similar incident on June 3.  Three servicemen, one Tajik border guard and two Kyrgyz border guards, were wounded in that gunfire.  

Tajikistan’s common border with Kyrgyzstan, which is 970 kilometers in length, has been the scene of unrest repeatedly since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  It has been difficult to demarcate the Kyrgyz-Tajik border because over the course of some 100 years Soviet mapmakers drew and redrew the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, incorporating land that had traditionally belonged to one people in the territory of the other Soviet republic.  Exclaves appeared and temporary land use agreements were signed.

All of this survived the collapse of the Soviet Union and people in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have various Soviet-era maps they use to justify their claim to specific areas along the border.

Border talks between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan began in 2002.  The border delineation problem has led to conflicts between rival ethnic communities.

To-date, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have held more than 170 meetings and negotiations on delimitation and demarcation of the common border.

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov said in an exclusive interview with Kabar news agency on April 25 that the parties have agreed on 600 kilometers [of the mutual border] and they have another 300 kilometers left to delimit and demarcate.