Borders on fire: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

Afghan Taliban blamed the Pakistani army for wanting to build a security post on the border between the two countries. The initiative led to a cross-border skirmish in which at least three Pakistanis were killed. An exchange of fire took place between Afghanistan’s Paktia province and Pakistan’s Kurram region. It is another example in a series of incidents and tensions between the South Asian neighbours since the Taliban took power in Kabul in August 2021.

Kyrgyz border guards accused Tajik forces of opening fire on several border posts, after which they responded with fire. Kyrgyzstan has evacuated more than 136,000 people from the conflict area. According to Kyrgyz accounts, Tajikistan used tanks, armoured personnel carriers and mortars. Tajikistan, meanwhile, accused Kyrgyz forces of shelling one outpost and seven villages with ‘heavy weapons’. The conflict has already killed approx. 100 people (as of 18.09.2022). There is a 1,000km section of the disputed border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (this is over ⅓ of its total length).

Greek coast guard vessels opened fire on a Turkish cargo ship operating in international waters in the Aegean Sea, 20 km southwest of the Turkish island of Bozca. The Coast Guard confirmed that it fired ‘warning shots’ at a vessel ‘moving suspiciously’ in Greek territorial waters near the coast of the island of Lesbos. The area is known for transporting migrants from Turkey to Greece and Italy. This is a further escalation of tensions between Greece and Turkey.

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