Monday, June 28, 2010

Toll in Kyrgyz ethnic clashes jumps to 294

The toll in ethnic violence in the south of Kyrgyzstan has increased to 294, according to the news agency citing the country's health ministry.

According to official information, the number of injured now stands at 2,238, including 1,047 hospitalised and 1,190 patients who received out-patient treatment.

Kyrgyz authorities admit, though, that the actual number of casualties may be ten times higher.

Clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, who account for about 15 percent of Kyrgyzstan's population, broke out in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh June 11, lasting several days and spreading to nearby Jalalabad.

UNICEF says over 100,000 refugees fled to neighbouring Uzbekistan during the clashes, while the UN says around 400,000 have been displaced by the unrest.

Some 70,000 displaced persons have returned to Kyrgyzstan so far.

The situation in Kyrgyzstan remains highly volatile, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) proposed Wednesday sending international police to prevent the spread of violence in the Central Asian republic.


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