Security Clampdown Ramps Up Tensions Along Kazakh-Uzbek Border

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TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – Uzbek migrants seeking to ply their trades in richer Central Asian neighbor Kazakhstan are in a high-stakes battle of wills with Kazakh authorities along the countries’ frontier, sparking clashes with border guards amid mounting concerns of an escalation in the political situation in this remote, oil-rich part of the world. Earlier this month, a group of some 60 Uzbek migrant laborers took a high-ranking border officer hostage after the bus carrying them into Kazakhstan was stopped. According to Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, he was released without incident — a better fate than one of his colleagues, who drowned […]

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