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Two Tajiks Wounded By Uzbek Border Guards

PANJAKENT, Tajikistan -- Uzbek border guards have shot and wounded two Tajik citizens along Tajikistan's border in the northern Panjakent district, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Abdurahmon Taylonov and Hofiz Normatov, both 37, are residents of the Panjakent district and reportedly tried to cross the Tajik-Uzbek border to visit relatives in the Urgut district of Uzbekistan's Samarkand region.

The parents of Taylonov and Normatov told RFE/RL that they are not being allowed to visit their sons, who were hospitalized in Urgut.

Several Tajiks told RFE/RL that since Jarteppa -- the only checkpoint in Panjakent, which borders the Samarkand region -- has been closed for 2 1/2 years and they must cross the Tajik-Uzbek border illegally.

Tajik border guards told RFE/RL that this was the fourth case of Uzbek border guards shooting Tajiks in Panjakent in 2009.