The armed forces of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan engaged in their most vicious bout of fighting in years on April 29, exchanging automatic rifle, machine gun and artillery fire in an hours-long battle over a strategic water facility.
At least five people have reportedly been killed and several dozen injured in the clashes across a disputed border where southern Kyrgyzstan and northern Tajikistan intersect.
Both governments appear on the face of things to be seeking a rapid de-escalation.
The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry announced in the evening that it had agreed with its Tajik opposite party on a ceasefire to take effect from 8 p.m. local time and for forces to withdraw.
Bishkek-based news website Kaktus reported, however, citing local officials in southern Kyrgyzstan, that gunfire could still be heard after that hour. Meanwhile, a reporter who managed to reach Chorkuh, a Tajik town on the border, told Eurasianet he heard intense artillery fire until the ceasefire hour and that it then stopped.
Popular moods will be more difficult to contain.
An ill-tempered crowd was still assembled late in the evening in front of the regional headquarters in Batken, the capital of the eponymous southern Kyrgyz region where the fighting is taking place. A Eurasianet correspondent watched as men in the throng issued angry demands that the authorities give them weapons so that they too could join the fight.
The confrontation began in a fashion now familiar to the area of Kyrgyzstan wedged between the Tajik mainland and the Dushanbe-controlled exclave of Vorukh, although the sides differ over who is to blame.
The result of the clashes so far:
On the Tajikistan side, three people died and 31 were injured.
On the Kyrgyz side, 51 people were injured, three were killed, including a 13-year-old girl.