Death toll rises to 55 from Kyrgyz-Tajik border clashes

Clashes erupted last week over control of local water distribution network.

Death toll rises to 55 from Kyrgyz-Tajik border clashes

The death toll from last week's clashes at a disputed section of the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border has risen to 55, authorities said Wednesday.

The number of Kyrgyz citizens who died in the armed conflict in Kyrgyzstan's Batken region has risen to 36 with 183 injured, said the Kyrgyz Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, the number of Tajiks who lost their lives in the conflict reached 19, including nine soldiers, with 88 others injured, according to media reports.

According to a statement by Kamchybek Tashiev, head of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan, the controversial border's 112 kilometers (69.59 miles) are to be "designated" by Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan by May 9.

Tashiev said that the two countries have come to a common understanding on several border issues and efforts are underway to define the exact borders.

Border clashes started last Wednesday between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan over control of the local water distribution network, according to Kyrgyz media.

Surveillance equipment was installed by Tajik officials at the Golovnoi water distribution center, which Kyrgyzstan says is located in a disputed area, according to Radio Free Europe.

Clashes broke out with the intervention of border troops from the two countries, and soldiers were sent to the region with armored vehicles from both sides.

Tensions on control of the water supply continued until last Thursday with residents throwing stones at each other.


Hüseyin Demir