MOSCOW, January 14 (RIA Novosti) - Regional authorities have declared a state of emergency in five Kyrgyz villages surrounding the Uzbek enclave of Sokh on Monday, about a week after a border clash resulted in injuries on both sides, the AKIpress news service said.
Residents of the five villages remain virtually cut from the outside world after border crossings were closed following an alleged attack by Sokh residents on a Kyrgyz border guard post. Five Uzbek citizens and an unknown number of Kyrgyz border guards were injured.
“There are ten villages surrounding the Sokh enclave, and the living conditions of their residents are getting worse, including problems with traffic, access to potable water, education, healthcare and so on,” said Adibek Nabiyev, who heads the local administration’s security and law-enforcement department.
The official said a bypass road is being constructed to alleviate the region’s most pressing problems.
A large group of residents of the Uzbek enclave of Sokh in the Ferghana Valley reportedly attacked Kyrgyz border guards at a local post a trying to seize firearms from them on January 6. The villagers were angered by an attempt by Kyrgyz guards to erect supports for electricity transmission lines without authorization from the Uzbek authorities.
According to the Kyrgyz media reports, the enclave residents have also taken hostages from nearby Kyrgyz villages, including women and children. All hostages were released the following day.