• Today
    August 21

  • 04:47 AM

Homes torched in riots

Sealy John,

Added 13 June 2010

OSH - Ethnic riots wracked southern Kyrgyzstan yesterday, forcing thousands of Uzbeks to flee as their homes were torched by roving mobs of Kyrgyz men. The interim government begged Russia for troops to stop the violence, but the Kremlin offered only humanitarian assistance. At least 77 people were reported killed and more than 1 000 wounded in the violence spreading across the impoverished Central Asian nation that hosts United States and Russian air bases. Much of its second largest city Osh was on fire yesterday, and the sky overhead was black with smoke. Roving mobs of young Kyrgyz men armed with firearms and metal bars marched on minority Uzbek neighbourhoods and set homes on fire, forcing thousands of Uzbeks to flee. Stores were looted and the city was running out of food. Kyrgyzstan's third straight day of rioting also engulfed another major southern city, Jalal-Abad, where a rampaging mob burned a university, besieged a police station and seized an armored vehicle and other weapons from a local military unit. "It's a real war," said local political leader Omurbek Suvanaliyev. "Everything is burning, and bodies are lying on the streets." Those driven from their homes rushed toward the border with Uzbekistan. (AP)

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