Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Uzbek Border Guards Killed in Shootout on Kyrgyz Border

An Uzbek border guard was killed and another seriously injured in an exchange of fire across the Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border on Tuesday. According to Kyrgyzstan’s border service, the incident occurred around 10:25 a.m. local time when a border guard detail comprised of three servicemen detected two Uzbek border guards who “illegally intruded into Kyrgyzstan’s territory.” In response to a demand to leave the republic’s territory, the Uzbek border guards started a “verbal argument that subsequently developed into a clash,” a representative of the Kyrgyz border service told RIA Novosti. Meanwhile, Uzbekistan’s State Border Protection Committee said the incident happened on Uzbek soil and demanded an explanation from Kyrgyzstan over the shooting, according to a statement by the State Border Protection Committee, a copy of which was obtained by RIA Novosti. It said four Kyrgyz border guards intruded into Uzbek territory and opened fire without any provocation, which is “the grossest possible violation” of the rules of conduct on the border. The committee’s press service said empty shells from the rounds fired by Kyrgyz border guards were found on Uzbekistan’s territory about 100 meters from the state border. A source in the committee later told RIA Novosti that the second border guard, who was seriously injured in the attack, died in the hospital without regaining consciousness. There are currently about 50 disputed sections on the 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) border between the two Central Asian countries, with 354 kilometers of the border yet to be delimitated.


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