At least 6 dead in clashes along Kyrgyz-Tajik border

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BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan /NUR SULTAN, Kazakhstan

At least six people were killed and 115 wounded in clashes along a disputed segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. 

The two days of clashes were over the control of the local water distribution network, local media in Kyrgyzstan reported Thursday.

Surveillance equipment was installed by Tajik officials at the Golovnoi water distribution center, which Kyrgyzstan says is located in an area where sovereignty is yet to be defined, according to the Radio Free Europe website.

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

A working group chaired by Kyrgyz First Deputy Prime Minister Artem Novikov to end the border conflict held a meeting with local government representatives.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Ulukbek Maripov and Tajikistan Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda, who are in Russia, declared that they were ready to resolve the conflict as soon as possible through negotiations.

According to local news sources in Kyrgyzstan, gunfire along the border stopped around 11.45 p.m. local time.

The foreign ministers of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan agreed to a full cease-fire in the region.

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said his country welcomed the cease-fire.

“I welcome the agreement reached between the officials of both states to end the armed conflict and start negotiations,” he said in a statement.

Tensions over control of the water supply continued Thursday, however, with local residents throwing stones at each other.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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