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Kyrgyz Locals Protest Uzbek Border Guards On Disputed Territory

AQSY, Kyrgyzstan -- Some 200 citizens of Kyrgyzstan's southern Aqsy district have protested the appearance of Uzbek border guards on disputed territory.

The Aqsy district's deputy governor, Jailoobek Kubatbekov, told RFE/RL that local authorities met with the protesters on September 26 and persuaded them to go home.

Kubatbekov added that the protests had been sparked by the appearance last week of Uzbek border guards at the site of a local radio transmitter owned by Kyrgyztelecom.

Uzbek border guards have visited the site several times since September 20.

About 300 kilometers of the 1,000-kilometer-long Kyrgyz-Uzbek border have remained disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In January, volatile border issues led to clashes between Uzbek citizens and Kyrgyz border guards in Uzbekistan's Sokh exclave inside Kyrgyz territory.