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Dushanbe Rejects Reports Tajiks Involved In Kyrgyz Unrest

Thousands have fled the fighting in southern Kyrgyzstan
Thousands have fled the fighting in southern Kyrgyzstan
DUSHANBE -- The Tajik Foreign Ministry is rejecting allegations that people from Tajikistan have been involved in the ethnic unrest in Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Davlat Nazri told RFE/RL that the ministry is concerned by the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan that has led to the deaths of more than 120 people and injured some 1,700.

He added that Tajikistan is seeking to strengthen its control of the border and wants to help Kyrgyzstan stabilize the situation.

But Nazri said reports in regional online media that Tajiks have been involved in the unrest in the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad are "completely baseless rumors." He said those reports cannot be confirmed by Tajik security or border forces.

At the same time, some Tajik analysts note that militants belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan were in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2000 and again one year later when they unsuccessfully tried to cross from Kyrgyzstan into Uzbekistan after being forced to flee Afghanistan.