Security guards stand at the Kyrgyz and Tajik border. File photo
The clash, which takes place on the eve of a regional security body meeting and against the background of fighting between Russia and Ukraine as well as Azerbaijan and Armenia, started after Kyrgyz border guards accused the Tajiks of taking positions at a part of the border that has not been demarcated.
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Both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are allied with Russia and host Russian military bases, but fighting over border issues is frequent and last year almost resulted in an all-out war between the former Soviet republics.
The Tajik side said in a statement Kyrgyz border guards opened unprovoked gun and mortar fire on their outpost. Tajikistan's border force said one border guard was killed in the incident and another two were injured, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Kyrgyzstan did not immediately report any casualties.
Kyrgyz and Tajik leaders are expected to attend a summit of the Shanghai Security Organisation in Uzbekistan this week alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping as well as a host of other world leaders.
A court in Kyrgyzstan has ordered former president Almazbek Atambayev held in custody until Aug.26, a spokesman said on Friday, after he was detained in a major security operation at his home
The two former Soviet republics clashed over a border dispute this week, accusing each other of using tanks, mortars, rocket artillery and assault drones to attack nearby settlements.
The press service of the northern region of Sughd bordering Kyrgyzstan said 19 people were killed including six soldiers, while 87 people were injured. The statement brings to 55 the total number of dead, with another 270 people wounded.
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