Three Kyrgyz, Two Tajik Nationals On Trial Over Deadly Ethnic Clashes
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BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- Three Kyrgyz and two Tajik citizens have gone on trial in Kyrgyzstan over deadly ethnic clashes that erupted earlier this year near a disputed segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.
The Leilek district court in Kyrgyzstan's southern Batken region started the trial on September 13.
The defendants are charged with looting private property during the clashes between April 29 and May 1, during which 36 Kyrgyz citizens and 19 Tajik nationals were killed and dozens more injured on both sides.
The situation has been tense along the border between the two former Soviet republics for years.
Many border areas in Central Asia have been disputed since the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991.
The situation is particularly complicated near the numerous exclaves in the volatile Ferghana Valley, where the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan meet.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.