Kyrgyz border guards shot and injured an Uzbek man during a confrontation at a border post, sparking an angry protest from local Uzbek villagers, a Kyrgyz police official said Tuesday.
The confrontation occurred Monday, when an Uzbek man refused to stop his car at a Kyrgyz border post near the village of Boz-Adyr, said local police chief Sheyshenbek Baizakov.
Kyrgyz border guards fired warning shots, and the driver got out of his car and started beating one of the guards, Baizakov said. A bullet fired by one of the border guards ricocheted off a rock and hit another Uzbek man sitting in a nearby car. The man was injured in the left thigh and was taken to a hospital.
Several hours later, about 200 Uzbeks from the nearby village of Sharkhabad blocked the road from Kyrgyzstan, demanding that Kyrgyz authorities remove their border post from Boz-Adyr. Both countries have beefed up their border guard and police forces in the area.
The confrontation took place in the Fergana Valley, where Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and another Central Asian state, Tajikistan, converge. Borders in the area are disputed, and clashes break out periodically between residents and border guards.
Government forces have also battled Islamic militants in the area.
Associated Press, December 24, 2002