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Kyrgyz, Uzbek Talks On Release Of Kyrgyz Officers Unsuccessful

BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- Talks between Kyrgyz and Uzbek border officials on the possible release of two Kyrgyz border guard officers have ended without success, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The two Kyrgyz colonels were detained by Uzbek border guards on August 31 near the southern Kyrgyz village of Pulgon in the Kadamjay district, which borders Uzbekistan.

Telephone discussions on their possible release ended unsuccessfully on September 1.

Nurlan Kerimkanov, a commander at Kyrgyzstan's southern Aydarken checkpoint on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, told RFE/RL that Kyrgyz border guard service head Zakir Tilenov also held a special meeting today in Batken with Kyrgyz border guard officials to discuss the situation.

Tashtemir Eshaliev, chief of the Batken region's Defense and Security Department, told RFE/RL the two officers were detained when they went to a checkpoint to resolve problems that arose after Uzbekistan closed all of its border crossings with Kyrgyzstan for three days in connection with Uzbekistan's Independence Day celebrations on September 1.

Kerimkanov told RFE/RL that the two officers were taken to a jail in the Uzbek city of Ferghana.

Uzbek authorities in a statement said the two were detained after illegally crossing the border while being drunk and disorderly. Kerimkanov told RFE/RL that statement is false.