Uzbek-Kyrgyz border services blame each other in border incident
By Aynur Karimova
The border services of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan blame each other for firing first in a shootout along the border.
"Statement of the State Border Protection Committee of National Security Service of Uzbekistan that border incident in the area of Mashalang border control post was provoked by Kyrgyz border guards, does not reflect reality," the Kyrgyz State Border Service’s Department of Public Relations and Mass Media said on July 1.
The Kyrgyz side noted that its border detachment rebuked the Uzbek border guards who were near the state border at the time. “In response to the Kyrgyz servicemen’s demands not to violate the state border and carry out patrol at a certain distance from the state border, the Uzbek border detachment opened fire on the Kyrgyz servicemen."
Meanwhile, Uzbek State Border Protection Committee of National Security Service claims the contrary. The committee noted that the reason for the border incident was the illegal actions of a drunk Kyrgyz military serviceman.
A shootout took place on the state border of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on June 29 between the two countries’ border detachments at an undisclosed location, the Kyrgyz border service said.
There were no casualties on the Kyrgyz side.
An investigation has been launched into the incident.
Regular border violations between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have sometimes led to a surge in violence, in some instances leading to losses in lives.
The existing state borders between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan do no coincide with ethnicity, causing many interethnic complications. There were clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan, primarily in the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad, in 2010.
Uzbekistan launched a limited troop incursion at first, but ultimately opened its borders to the Uzbek refugees. The clashes killed up to 2,000 people, mostly Uzbeks, while another 100,000 were displaced.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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