Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have reported on Sunday a total of 82 deaths in clashes on the border between the two countries. Bishkek has specifically reported 36 dead, to which must be added the 46 confirmed by Dushanbe.
Tajikistan has reported ten more deaths in the last 24 hours to bring the total number of fatalities to 46 and 140 injured due to the clashes, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health reported by the AKIPress portal.
Kyrgyzstan, for its part, has assured that it has counted 36 deaths and has reported the evacuation of some 137,000 people from the conflict zone.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of both countries, held talks Sunday with the presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Sadir Japarov, and Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, to try to stop the escalation.
“Putin has urged the parties to avoid further escalation and to take steps to resolve the situation as soon as possible through exclusively peaceful, political and diplomatic channels,” the Kremlin has reported, Interfax news agency reported.
“It has reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to provide the necessary assistance to ensure stability in the border area between the two countries,” continues the text, which stresses that the parties have agreed to maintain these communications.
The latest fighting began on September 14. Both sides agreed to a cease-fire on the night of Friday to Saturday, but it was immediately broken amid cross accusations about who was responsible.
The border between the two countries, which stretches for more than 970 kilometers, has been the scene of several clashes over the past few years due to several points being undemarcated, leading to disputes between Bishkek and Dushanbe over control of those territories.
This lack of clear demarcation has led to disputes over the use of land and water resources, with frequent clashes between border guards from one country and the other and brawls between communities that were separated after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.