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Kyrgyz-Tajik Cease-Fire Holds After Quiet Night

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov (center) chairs a meeting of the Security Council in Bishkek on September 16.

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov (center) chairs a meeting of the Security Council in Bishkek on September 16.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan reported no major overnight incidents on September 17, indicating that a cease-fire agreed after intense fighting on September 16 remained in effect.

Kyrgyz border guards said a village was briefly shelled.

Tajik border guards said in a statement on September 17 that the situation at the border between the two countries is “relatively stable.” It added, however, that "in some cases, the cease-fire is violated by Kyrgyz servicemen.”

The two former Soviet republics clashed over a border dispute this week.

The Kyrgyz border guard service accused Tajik forces of using tanks, armored personnel carriers, and mortars. In turn, Tajikistan accused Kyrgyz forces of bombarding an outpost and seven villages with "heavy weaponry" in the same area.

WATCH: Fresh clashes erupted at the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan on September 16, with both sides accusing each other of using heavy weaponry in fighting that has killed at least three people and wounded dozens over three days.

Border issues in Central Asia stem to a large extent from the Soviet era when Moscow tried to divide the region between ethnic groups whose settlements were often located amidst those of other ethnicities.

Both countries still host Russian military bases, and Moscow again on September 16 called for a halt in the fighting.

Kyrgyzstan, which on September 16 reported 24 deaths and 87 wounded, said one border village was shelled by mortars for five minutes early on September 17 after an otherwise quiet night.

Kyrgyzstan's Emergencies Ministry said 136,000 people were evacuated from the area engulfed by the fighting.

Tajik border guards said on September 16 that several Tajik villages had been struck by Kyrgyz helicopters and drones.

In a statement on September 17, the border service said Kyrgyzstan continues the "deployment of additional military forces and means on the border.”

Based on reporting by RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, Reuters, and AP

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