One killed, several wounded in Kyrgyz-Tajik border clash

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BISHKEK/DUSHANBE (Reuters) – A Tajik man was shot dead and several Tajiks and Kyrgyz were wounded in border clashes triggered by a dispute over road construction in Kyrgyzstan’s southwestern Batken province, authorities on both sides said on Thursday.

The clashes broke out on Wednesday after the Kyrgyz authorities attempted to restart work on a road project which crosses Vorukh, an enclave of about 30,000 ethnic Tajiks, in the Ferghana Valley.

Three former Soviet republics – Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan – have struggled for three decades to agree borders in the Central Asian valley, which is home to several ethnic groups.

In the latest clash, dozens of men on both sides hurled rocks at each other, and several men were wounded. The violence then escalated and one Tajik man was shot dead, the Tajik government said in a statement.

The Kyrgyz government said one of its own citizens was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest.

The governments said border guards have intervened to prevent further escalation and diplomats from both sides were discussing the matter.

Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko in Bishkek and Nazarali Pirnazarov in Dushanbe; Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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