Day four of ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan

Michael Schwirtz
The New York Times
6/14/2010

OSH, Kyrgyzstan — Gangs of gunmen continued raids on ethnic Uzbek enclaves, and a refugee crisis grew at the border of this strategically important Central Asian nation on Monday, after four days of violence left swaths of the country’s ethnically mixed south in ruins.

The city of Osh, where mobs marauded for three days, was mostly quiet on Monday morning, and its government buildings appeared to be well protected.

But Kyrgyz volunteers armed with bats and iron bars — some recently arrived from the north of the country — continued to patrol outlying villages, saying they were defending the country’s south against an Uzbek attempt to seize it.

Thousands of people fleeing the violence massed at Nariman, on the border with Uzbekistan, where Dilmurad Failakov, a doctor from a local hospital, said four newborns had died on Monday morning and dysentery was spreading among the children. Refugees, who were mostly sitting on the ground, said they had seen truckloads of humanitarian aid passing by, but none of them had stopped.

The government of Uzbekistan estimated that 75,000 people were fleeing and said it had set up refugee camps on its side of the border.

The article continues at the New York Times.

UPDATE: “Kyrgyzstan violence toll jumps over 200. Witnesses said that the streets of Osh were littered with bodies, many of them charred,” at The Times of London.

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