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Kyrgyzstan declares two-day nationwide mourning for border clash victims

According to the decree, the April 29-30 clashes "resulted in numerous deaths and injuries among civilians and servicemen"

BISHKEK, May 1. /TASS/. Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov signed a decree on Saturday to declare a two-day nationwide mourning for those killed in clashes on the border with Tajikistan, his press service said.

"The President of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan has signed a decree to declare nationwide mourning on May 1-2, 2021," the press service said in a statement.

According to the decree, the April 29-30 clashes "resulted in numerous deaths and injuries among civilians and servicemen" and "caused significant property loss for civilians and enterprises."

During the nationwide mourning period, national flags will fly at half mast all over the country and at its diplomatic missions abroad. TV and radio channels were advised to take entertainment shows off air. The government was tasked with "taking necessary measures to help the families of victims and those injured."

According to the Health Ministry of Kyrgyzstan, the clashes left 31 Kyrgyz citizens dead and over 120 injured. Most of the victims are civilians. Dozens of buildings were burned down or destroyed, including a school, a border post and a fire station. About 10,000 people were evacuated from the zone of the hostilities.

Situation on border

The situation on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, where armed clashes were reported earlier this week, is now stable, the State Committee for National Security’s Border Service of the Kyrgyz Republic said.

"As of 09:00 local time (06:00 Moscow time) on May 1, 2021, the situation on the Kyrgyz-Tajik section of the state border is stable," the statement says. "No incidents or shootouts have been reported."

Traffic has resumed along roads blocked as a result of the hostilities.

The situation at the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan escalated on April 28 near the Golovnoy water distribution station, which both sides consider their territory. On April 29, the conflict between local residents escalated into armed hostilities. Casualties were reported on both sides. Kyrgyzstan accused Tajikistan of using mortars and machinegun, and of an attempt to capture the water distribution station. Later that day, the sides agreed to cease fire and withdraw forces to their permanent deployment locations.

The border between the two republics is about 980 kilometers long. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, tens of disputed areas remained at the border. Currently, the two republics finished the delimitation and demarcation of about 580 kilometers. The last demarcation commission meeting took place in March 2021, the next one is supposed to take place on May 1.