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RFE/RL Correspondent Freed After Detention By Kyrgyz Border Guards


RFE/RL correspondent Masum Muhammadrajab (file photo)

BISHKEK -- A correspondent for RFE/RL's Tajik Service, who was detained by Kyrgyz border guards at a disputed segment of the border between the two Central Asian nations, has been released.

Masumi Muhammadrajab was released in the evening of February 8, after eight hours in detention.

Earlier, Kyrgyz border guard spokeswoman Gulmira Borubaeva told RFE/RL that Muhammadrajab had been detained on February 8 for failing to cross the border through a Kyrgyz checkpoint.

Muhammadrajab was detained in the Bobojon Gafur district, where he had been sent to cover a dispute that emerged after Kyrgyz border guards installed their national flag on a Tajik-owned private house on February 6, claiming that the building was on Kyrgyz territory.

Many parts of the borders between the five Central Asian countries have remained in dispute since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In recent years, the tension along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek and Kyrgyz-Tajik borders have intensified after outbreaks of violence involving residents and border guards from all sides.