Media reports: 17 dead in border fighting in Central Asia


Around 120,000 people were evacuated from the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan near the border.

(Photo: IMAGO/SNA)

Bishkek / Dushanbe The heavy fighting in the border dispute between the two Ex-Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in Central Asia come to a head. On the Kyrgyz side, there are fatalities among both soldiers and civilians, the National Security Council in Bishkek said on Friday.

Citing unspecified sources, 17 were said to have died. Later in the evening, the Kyrgyz Parliament wanted to meet for an emergency session. It cannot be ruled out that the country will declare a state of war, said Deputy Dastan Bekeshev.

According to the authorities, around 120,000 people were brought to safety from the Kyrgyz region of Batken near the border. Both the authoritarian Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which despite setbacks is considered comparatively democratic, reported ongoing fighting. Both sides blame each other for the escalation. On the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit In Uzbekistan, also in Central Asia, the presidents of the two high-mountain countries met for talks.

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