Ethnic Violence, Homes Burnt
|What is affected||
|Type of violation||
|Date||01 June 2010|
|Region||A [ Asia ]|
|Location||Osh and other towns|
|- Number of homes|
|- Total value €|
Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)
Kyrgyzstan: Ethnic Violence, Homes Burnt |
14 June 2010
By : Sasha Merkushev, Associated Press
OSH, Kyrgyzstan – Sporadic gunfire continued through the night and fresh fires raged in southern Kyrgyzstan on Monday, as the Central Asian nation`s worst ethnic violence in decades that prompted thousands to flee showed no signs of abating.
The official death toll reached 117 with 1,500 hurt, the Health Ministry of this beleaguered former Soviet country, which hosts U.S. and Russian military bases, announced early Monday.
Accounts from international aid agencies and other witnesses suggest the real figures could be multiples higher: the International Committee of the Red Cross has said its delegates witnessed about 100 bodies being buried in just one cemetery.
In days of attacks, mobs of rioters slaughtered ethnic minority Uzbeks and burned their homes and businesses. More than 75,000 Uzbeks fled the country amid attacks that also appeared aimed at undermining the new interim government.
New fires raged Monday across Osh — the second-largest city that`s on the border with Uzbekistan, and where food and water were becoming scarce. Armed looters smashed stores, stealing anything from televisions to food.
No police could be seen on the streets, though authorities insisted some of the improvised checkpoints dotted around the city of 250,000 were theirs.
Cars stolen from ethnic Uzbeks raced around the city, most crowded with young Kyrgyz wielding sharpened sticks, axes and metal rods.
In some parts of Osh, Kyrgyz residents protected homes housing both Kyrgyz and Uzbek.
In another city beset by violence, Jalal-Abad, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) away, armed Kyrgyz amassed at the central square. Their stated goal was to travel to the nearby Uzbek settlement of Suzak in search of an Uzbek community leader they blame for starting the trouble.
The Uzbek border is just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from Osh. Uzbek refugees were mostly elderly people, women and children, with younger men staying behind to defend their property. Some were fired on as they fled.
The United States, Russia and the U.N. chief all expressed alarm about the scale of the violence and discussed how to help the refugees. The U.S. and Russia both have military bases in northern Kyrgyzstan, away from the rioting. Russia sent in an extra battalion to protect its air base.