Kyrgyzstan appeals to Russia to help stop violence in south

17:48, June 12, 2010      

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The interim leader of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva appealed to Russia on Saturday to send troops to help quell the violence in the southern part of the country.

Servicemen drive armoured vehicles in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan June 11, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The appeal was made in a letter sent to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Otunbayeva told reporters.

"Since yesterday evening the situation goes over the edge, we need the input of other military forces to appease the situation. In this concern, we appealed for help to Russia," said the interim leader.

"I have already signed such a letter for President Dmitry Medvedev," she added.

The death toll from clashes has risen to 49 and another 654 were wounded.

The unrest, erupted late Thursday, has prompted the interim government to declare a state of emergency in the city, which has also been put under a curfew from 8 p.m. (1400 GMT) to 6 a.m. (0000 GMT) until June 20.

Meanwhile, Otunbayeva has also discussed the recent eruption of violence in southern part of the Central Asian state with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the Russian government said Saturday.

The phone conversation late Friday night initiated by the Kyrgyz side included talks over the fatal clashes in the country's second largest city of Osh, the Russian government press office said.

The current clashes followed violence in May when supporters of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev clashed with supporters of the interim government in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad.

Bakiyev was ousted in April when riots broke out across the country. At least 85 people were killed and thousands of others injured in clashes.

Kyrgyzstan is expected to have a vote on a new constitution later this month, followed by new parliamentary elections in October.

Source: Xinhua


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