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A new Walk of Remembrance for 17 Kazakh Interior Ministry troops who died in 1995 on the Tajik-Afghan border has been opened in Astana.
KAZAKHSTAN - A new Walk of Remembrance for 17 Kazakh Interior Ministry troops who died in 1995 on the Tajik-Afghan border was opened in Astana on April 7. Seventeen elms were planted at the site of the Otan-Ana monument to represent the soldiers who did not return from the battle field.
From 1993 to 1999, in accordance with the Collective Security Agreement, a peacekeeping force of Kazakh soldiers guarded the Kazakh-Afghan CIS border. On April 7, 1995, while a column from a Kazakh battalion was being deployed across the Peshawar Valley along the River Panj, soldiers from the seventh combined company of Shymkent military unit No. 6506 were ambushed by Afghan combatants.
Mourning ceremonies in memory of the slain soldiers are held each year on April 7 with the laying of wreaths and gun salutes. In 1995, an obelisk inscribed with the names of the 17 victims was erected on the territory of Shymkent military post No. 6506. Streets, schools and squares also bear the soldiers’ names. A memorial plaque also marks the site of the clash in the Peshawar Valley, and last December a memorial was opened in Dushanbe’s Peoples’ Friendship Park.
According to the Kazakh Interior Ministry, 2,000 Kazakh soldiers guarded the Tajik-Afghan border in shifts during those six years. Fifty soldiers fell defending the CIS border.