39 dead in the last clashes over land, water and pastures.

A ceasefire on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan largely held on Friday after a day of intense fighting between the two former Soviet neighbors in Central Asia that left 39 dead and more than 175 injured.

More than 7,000 Kyrgyz residents were evacuated from the area engulfed by the fighting as troops from the two countries exchanged gunfire around a water supply facility near the village of Kok-Tash, located in the western Kyrgyzstan, on the border with Tajikistan.

The two countries have claimed the area around the Kok-Tash water supply facility, a dispute dating back decades to when they were both part of the Soviet Union.

Kyrgyz officials reported shooting at the border early on Friday, but later said the truce was observed.

Kyrgyzstan’s Deputy Health Minister Jalalidin Rakhmatullayev told Interfax news agency 31 people died and 154 others were injured in the clashes, which marked the worst outbreak of hostilities between the two countries. since gaining independence during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Local authorities in the city of Ifara, Tajikistan, reported eight dead and more than 30 injured.

Much of the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan remains unmarked, fueling violent conflicts over water, land and pastures.

The latest conflict erupted on Wednesday when Tajik officials attempted to mount surveillance cameras to monitor the water supply facility amid tensions over water distribution, and Kyrgyz residents opposed the move. . Both sides began to throw stones at each other and the troops quickly entered the fray.

.