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Uzbekistan's Sokh Exclave Remains Sealed After Clashes

  • RFE/RL's Uzbek Service
  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- All border posts around Uzbekistan's Sokh exclave inside Kyrgyzstan remain closed.

It is not clear when the border posts will resume operations.

On January 6, Sokh residents and Kyrgyz border guards clashed during the installation of power lines to a Kyrgyz border post.

At least three Uzbek citizens reportedly sustained gunshot wounds and a Kyrgyz policeman was severely beaten.

Thirty Kyrgyz citizens were taken hostage in Sokh, all of whom were released on January 7.

The Kyrgyz government's deputy envoy in Batken Province, Saitjan Eratov, told RFE/RL on January 8 that the border posts around Sokh and all roads crossing the district will remain closed until Uzbekistan pays compensation for damage incurred during the incident.

Sokh is Uzbek territory inside Kyrgyzstan's southern region of Batken that is populated mainly by ethnic Tajiks.
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