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Kyrgyz Guards Clash With Armed Group Along Chinese Border

Map - Kyrgyzstan
Map - Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK -- A shootout overnight between Kyrgyz border guards and unknown armed men has left at least two of the gunmen dead.

A spokeswoman for the Kyrgyz Border Guard Service, Gulmira Borubaeva, told RFE/RL that at least eight attackers killed a Kyrgyz forest ranger and opened fire at Kyrgyz border guards.

She said the gunmen may have crossed the Kyrgyz-Chinese border.

The perpetrators are currently surrounded by Kyrgyz border guards.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev has arrived in northern Issyk-Kul Province, where the incident is taking place.

Last week, China's restive northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which borders Kyrgyzstan, announced that it was doubling its budget for fighting "terrorism" following an unusually bloody year of antigovernment attacks.

Officials say the attacks are the work of Uyghur separatists inspired by radical Islam.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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