A six hundred plus miles border and water disputes are two main reasons for the long-standing clash between neighbors Kyrgyz and Tajiks. The seemingly never-ending conflict escalated when the latter allegedly broke the ceasefire agreement on September 14, 2022, killing and injuring dozens of people.

The two former Soviet Union nations have had a long-running border skirmish since the collapse of the transcontinental communist state in the early 90s, which renewed in a series of firefighting that began in late April last year near the village of Kök-Tash, Batken District. It resulted in at least 55 deaths and dozens of wounded, while more than 33,000 residents surrounding the conflicted area were evacuated. Despite joint security controls being signed by both countries a week following the clash, small fire exchanging incidents continued until January this year, when the sporadic border dispute escalated again.

Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan border
(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Two Kyrgyz border guards and three civilians were injured due to a shootout on September 14 in the Kak-Sai and Pasky-Aryk areas of the Batken Region. Tajik, on the other hand, lost two soldiers and 11 people wounded.

What Triggered the Latest Skirmish?

According to news reports, a Kyrgyz border unit demanded that the Tajik border detachment leave the area. The latter did not comply and instead opened fire, to which the Kyrgyz border guards responded.