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Elders mediate in ethnic clash in southern Kyrgyzstan

(Xinhua)

08:38, December 31, 2011

BISHKEK, Dec.30 (Xinhua) -- Elders in Kyrgyzstan held a meeting Friday morning to pacify ethnic Kyrgyz and Tajiks engrossed in a mass fight in the south of the country.

Meanwhile, regional officials and Kyrgyz Deputy Interior Minister Kursan Asanov have arrived at the scene for mediation.

More than 1,000 Kyrgyz and Tajiks joined a massive fight in southern Kyrgyzstan Thursday, according to Interfax report.

The clash took place in the village of Andarak, Batken Oblast, police from the southern Kyrgyz capital of Osh told Interfax.

The police said residents of Andarak, which is populated mainly by ethnic Tajiks, beat a group of Kyrgyz school students. The parents of the students had sent a complaint to law enforcement bodies.

When a police patrol detained the attackers and started taking them to the district capital, the Tajik residents of Andarak blocked the road and freed the detainees by force. In the evening, about 500 Kyrgyz and 1,000 Tajiks clashed, said the police.

Reinforcement police set the fighters apart but clashes continued throughout Thursday night, burning down a filling station, a car and a shop.

Additional police forces were sent to the village on Friday to patrol the streets.

"The situation in Andarak is fully under control and does not tend to worsen," said a police spokesman.

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