Truce After 40 Die In Kyrgyz-Tajik Water Dispute
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – There was a tense cease-fire on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan after scores of people died in the worst clashes between both nations since they gained independence in the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
The truce followed a day of intense fighting between the two ex-Soviet Central Asian neighbors in a water dispute that killed about 40 people and injured some 175, officials said.
Underscoring the human suffering, Kyrgyzstan said Thursday that among those killed was a child, described as “a girl born in 2008”.
Up to 10,000 Kyrgyz residents were evacuated from the area engulfed by the fighting as troops from the two countries exchanged gunfire, reporters said.
They fought around a water supply facility near the village of Kok-Tash, in western Kyrgyzstan on the border with Tajikistan.
Both nations had claimed the area around the water supply facility in Kok-Tash, a dispute dating back decades to when they were both parts of the Soviet Union.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters that Moscow was monitoring the conflict.
The foreign ministry of Uzbekistan, the most populous country in the region and a neighbor of both countries, had earlier called for the “immediate cessation of hostilities.” It also and offered to assist in resolving the crisis engulfing the volatile region.
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