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Kyrgyzstan Accuses Tajik Border Guards Of Opening Fire On Truck Driver Near Disputed Border

The Kyrgyz driver reportedly sustained minor injuries caused by shattered glass.

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz authorities say Tajik border guards opened fire on a truck and attempted to abduct the driver near a disputed sector of the border between the two Central Asian states where ethnic-related incidents have been frequent in recent years.

Kyrgyzstan's State Border Guard Service (KChAK) said on December 22 that three Tajik border guards forcibly got aboard a Kyrgyz truck, when its driver stopped to get some water from a spring in the southern Leilek district.

"The Tajik border guards then ordered the Kyrgyz driver to drive his truck further with them aboard. To attract other vehicles attention to his situation, the driver abruptly turned the wheel blocking the road, which forced the Tajik soldiers to leave the truck. However, when the Kyrgyz citizen continued to drive his truck, the Tajik border guards opened fire at the vehicle hitting the windshield and a tire," the KChAK statement said, adding that the driver sustained minor injuries caused by shattered glass.

The incident could not be independently confirmed and Tajik officials have yet to comment on the Kyrgyz statement.

Almost half of the 970-kilometer-long Kyrgyz-Tajik border has not been demarcated, leading to repeated tensions since the two countries gained independence three decades ago.

In late April, clashes that involved military personnel along a disputed segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border left dozens of people dead on both sides.

Many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991.

The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the volatile Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan meet.