Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan: Images of destruction after border clashes

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The death toll from recent clashes at a disputed Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border has risen to 46, with hundreds of people injured and dozens of homes destroyed, officials say.

More than 100 properties – including schools, shops, border checkpoints and a police station – were burned down or vandalised in some of the worst fighting the region has seen in years, the Kyrgyz emergencies ministry said on Sunday.

Images captured by the BBC show the extent of the destruction in villages in Kyrgyzstan, with homes blackened by fire, roofs collapsed and some buildings reduced to rubble.

Properties destroyed by fire

An official walks along a deserted street following clashes near the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border

An official documents the damage to buildings in the area

As many as 10,000 people were evacuated after violence erupted in a disputed area around the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday.

Building set on fire included schools, checkpoints and shops

People from both the Kyrgyz and Tajik sides hurled stones at each other after surveillance cameras were installed at a water facility.

Some crockery is displayed near a home that has been reduced to rubble

The Kyrgyz interior ministry said it had opened a criminal investigation in connection with the violence, and that it would look into allegations of murder and illegal border crossings.

With many of the properties, the roofs had collapsed

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Many buildings were left beyond repair

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Nothing but shells of some buildings remained

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While a ceasefire agreement came into force on Friday, there were reports that violence had continued in several villages.

The two sides reached another ceasefire agreement on Saturday evening, which appeared to be holding on Sunday.

The fighting has focused on water facilities in territory claimed by both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Like many parts of Central Asia, the border between the two countries has been a focus of tension for the past 30 years.

Restrictions on access to land and water that communities regard as theirs have often led to deadly clashes in the past.

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