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Tajik Official Urges Demarcation Of Kyrgyz Border

KHUJAND, Tajikistan -- A regional Tajik official says the Kyrgyz-Tajik border urgently needs to be demarcated in order to prevent violent cross-border incidents from occurring, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Qohir Rasulzoda, the governor of the northern Tajik province of Sughd, said that the lack of a defined border is the main reason for violent incidents between Kyrgyz and Tajiks along their border.

Rasulzoda noted that earlier this month a group of Kyrgyz border guards in Batken Province reportedly destroyed several homes in Vorukh, a village in a Tajik exclave inside Kyrgyzstan. The exclave is officially part of Sughd's Isfara district.

After the alleged destruction of the homes, Tajik police and border guards temporarily detained eight Kyrgyz border guards.

Rasulzoda said a special joint commission on border issues -- led on the Tajik side by Amirqul Azimov, the secretary of Tajikistan's Security Council -- will try to find a long-term solution to the border problems.

Nematullo Mirsaidov, an expert on Tajik affairs, told RFE/RL that only open borders and cooperation from both sides can prevent further violent incidents along the Tajik-Kyrgyz border.

In recent years, Tajik and Kyrgyz border posts in the Ferghana Valley have also been attacked by unknown assailants. Local authorities accuse Islamic militants of the attacks and the killings of some border guards.