MOSCOW – Shooting broke out Wednesday between guards patrolling the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, according to Russian news agencies.

The clash, which takes place on the eve of a regional security body meeting and against the background of fighting between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Azerbaijan and Armenia, started after Kyrgyz border guards accused the Tajiks of taking positions at a part of the border that has not been demarcated.

Both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are allied with Russia and host Russian military bases, but fighting over border issues is frequent.  Last year almost resulted in an all-out war between the two former Soviet republics.

The Tajik side said in a statement Kyrgyz border guards opened unprovoked gun and mortar fire on their outpost. Neither side has reported any casualties.

Kyrgyz and Tajik leaders are expected to attend a summit of the Shanghai Security Organisation in Uzbekistan this week alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as well as a host of other world leaders. REUTERS