Tuesday, 25 February 2003

KYRGYZ MAN DIES FROM UZBEK-LAID MINE IN DISPUTED TERRITORY

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By empty (2/25/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)

A Kyrgyz man was killed when a land mine laid by the Uzbek military exploded in a disputed border zone, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. The 42-year-old man stepped on the mine, which was placed in the southern Batken region of Kyrgyzstan, more than 150 meters (490 feet) away from the Uzbek border, the ministry said. The mountainous territory, in an area where the borders of three former Soviet republics are tangled and poorly marked, is claimed by both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
A Kyrgyz man was killed when a land mine laid by the Uzbek military exploded in a disputed border zone, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. The 42-year-old man stepped on the mine, which was placed in the southern Batken region of Kyrgyzstan, more than 150 meters (490 feet) away from the Uzbek border, the ministry said. The mountainous territory, in an area where the borders of three former Soviet republics are tangled and poorly marked, is claimed by both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The latest explosion brings a total of 12 Uzbek mine explosions near the border since 1999. One other person has been killed and three seriously injured. Uzbekistan has mined some of its frontiers to fend off border incursions by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a terrorist group that fought alongside the Taliban with al-Qaida against the U.S.-backed northern alliance in Afghanistan (news - web sites). The incursions began in 1999. The mines have raised tensions in Central Asia, where free travel long reigned. Soviet authorities divided the vast territory into five separate republics in the 1920s, but border restrictions were not enforced until after the 1991 Soviet collapse. (AP)
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