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Kyrgyz Express Concern Over Tajik Border Incident

BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry has officially expressed concern over a violent clash along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

In a statement issued on January 13, the ministry said it was "perplexed" by Tajikistan's earlier official statement saying that the Kyrgyz side was responsible for the January 11 incident.

Officials say five Kyrgyz border guards, one Kyrgyz policeman, and three Tajik border guards were hospitalized with injuries after shootouts along the border.

Kyrgyzstan accused Tajik forces of using grenade-launchers and mortars.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry statement called on Tajikistan to refrain from making any further statements until the incident can be thoroughly investigated by both sides.

Clashes along the border occurred several times in 2013. Many areas along borders in Central Asia remain in dispute after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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