Fresh clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan kill two, injure 23

21:46, June 21, 2010      

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At least two people were killed and 23 others injured on Monday in fresh clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan, local media reported.

The fresh clashes occurred in a mainly ethnic Uzbek neighborhood near the restive southern city of Osh when local residents denied entry of military police to remove their homemade barricades.

At least two people were killed and 23 other injured in a shootout between the military police and local residents, a spokesman for the security forces in Osh was quoted as saying.

The military police launched their operation legally and confiscated a number of weapons in the village, said the spokesman.

According to well-informed sources, interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has rushed to Osh to ease further deterioration of the situation.

The death toll in clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan has reached 208, with 2,101 others injured, the country's Health Ministry said Monday.

Earlier, the Kyrgyz interim government has decided to extend a state of emergency in Osh and other areas to June 25.

On Sunday, government forces started to clear barricades in the south, which were set up by local residents as self-defense measures during the unrest.

Meanwhile, military police beefed up security in the capital city of Bishkek on Monday ahead of a referendum on a draft new constitution scheduled for June 27.

Xinhua reporters saw checkpoints in major roads on the outskirts of the capital.

Ethnic clashes broke out in mid-June in the southern major city of Osh and later spread to the region of Jalalabad.

Interim leader Otunbayeva said during a Friday inspection tour in Osh that the real number of death toll was likely 10 times higher, as many of the victims were buried quickly as a local tradition.

Source: Xinhua


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