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Some Crossings Reopen On Kyrgyz-Tajik Border

The Kyrgyz-Tajik border had been closed since an exchange of gunfire injured several Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards in January. (file photo)
BISHKEK -- After a diplomatic dispute over border violence, some checkpoints along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border have opened for the first time since mid-January.

Kyrgyz Border Service Chairman Raiymberdy Duishembiev told RFE/RL on March 31 that the Karamyk and Bordobo border crossings have started functioning fully.

Meanwhile, checkpoints at Kulundu and Kairagach are allowing residents who live close to the border to cross as pedestrians.

Other checkpoints remain closed.

The Kyrgyz-Tajik border had been closed since an exchange of gunfire on January 11 injured several Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards.

The shootings were in a disputed area where Kyrgyzstan is constructing a new highway around a Tajik exclave inside Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz authorities have suspended the highway construction since then and a joint Kyrgyz-Tajik commission has been working on border demarcation.

Rallies In Bishkek Square Banned

Elsewhere in Kyrgyzstan, a court in Bishkek has banned rallies on the central square of Kyrgyzstan's capital until May 1.

Kyrgyzstan's parliament and government buildings are located on the square.

Bishkek's Birinchi Mai District Court ruled on March 31 that all public gatherings during the next month should be held at the nearby Gorky Park instead.

The court said the decision was made after a Birinchi Mai District administration asked for the rally ban to be imposed ahead of the fourth anniversary of the April 2010 protests that toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Some opposition groups had earlier announced plans to conduct rallies on the central square this week.

With reporting by KyrTAG and Interfax