Sunday, June 13, 2010


Ethnic Rioting Spreads in Kyrgyzstan, with 80 Dead
By Sasha Merkushev and Leila Saralayeva
Associated Press dispatch on Yahoo! News, June 13, 2010
"Ethnic rioting spread Sunday in southern Kyrgyzstan, where at least 80 people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded. Thousands of Uzbeks fled after their homes were torched by roving mobs of Kyrgyz men. Fires destroyed much of Osh, the second-largest city in a Central Asian country that hosts US and Russian military air bases. Stores were looted and the city was running out of food. Gunfire rang out Sunday in another major southern city, Jalal-Abad, where the day before a rampaging mob burned a university, besieged a police station and seized an armored vehicle and other weapons from a local military unit. Thousands of Kyrgyz men brandishing sticks, metals bars and hunting rifles gathered at the city's horse racing track, shouting anti-Uzbek slogans while police stayed away.
In the nearby Bazar-Kurgan village, a mob of about 400 Uzbeks overturned cars and killed a police captain, local political activist Asyl Tekebayev said. Residents said crowds of armed Kyrgyz men from other parts of the region were arriving in the village. The riots are the worst violence since former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a bloody uprising in April and fled the country. Interim President Roza Otunbayeva acknowledged Saturday that her government has lost control over Osh, a city of 250,000, even though it sent troops, armor and helicopters to quell the riots. [...]"

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