BISHKEK, January 12, /ITAR-TASS/. Kyrgyz authorities decided to close temporarily all border and customs checkpoints on the border with Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz leadership said in a diplomatic note to the Tajik Foreign Ministry.
“All checkpoints are closed until the current situation stabilises,” the press service of the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry told Itar-Tass. “We have taken this measure to avert inter-ethnic conflicts and ensure security of residents in the border regions,” the press service said.
On Saturday, Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards engaged in a shootout with the use of mortars at settlement Ak-Say in Batken Region of Kyrgyzstan. Six Kyrgyz servicemen were wounded in the armed clash, two of them are in a heavy condition. The Kyrgyz government affirms that the fire was opened from the Tajik side.
The chiefs of the republican border service went to the clash site to investigate the incident.
The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry reported that one more diplomatic note had been sent to Tajikistan. In the note Bishkek voiced concerns over the current situation and the use of firearms by Tajik servicemen.
The Kyrgyz government has earlier stated about its intention to investigate this border incident together with Tajikistan.