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Kyrgyz-Tajik ceasefire largely holds after quiet night

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov and Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon attend a gathering on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022. Sultan Dosaliev/Kyrgyz Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

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BISHKEK, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan reported no major overnight incidents on Saturday, indicating a ceasefire agreed after intense Friday fighting remained in place, although Kyrgyz border guards said a village was briefly shelled.

Both former Soviet republics clashed over a border dispute this week, accusing one another of using tanks, mortars, rocket artillery and assault drones to attack nearby settlements. read more

Central Asian border issues largely stem from the Soviet era when Moscow tried to divide the spot between groups whose settlements were often located amidst those of other ethnicities.

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Kyrgyzstan, which on Friday reported 24 deaths and a large number of people wounded, said one border village was shelled by mortars for 5 minutes in early stages Saturday after an otherwise quiet night.

Tajikistan have not given any official casualty numbers, but security sources said at the very least seven individuals were killed on Friday. Tajik border guards said in a statement on Friday several Tajik villages have been struck by Kyrgyz helicopters and drones.

Tajik security sources said heads of state security from both sides continued talks on Saturday to stay the conflict.

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Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Additional reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov in Dushanbe; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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