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Kyrgyzstan still tense after ethnic fighting

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Kyrgyzstan still tense after ethnic fighting


A fragile peace has descended on the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, ravaged by days of ethnic slaughter.

For the time being, at least, troops seem to have brought Kyrgyzstan’s second city under control. But the streets, lined with torched cars and shops, appeared relatively devoid of pedestrians.

Russia and the US, which both have bases in Kyrgyzstan, are watching with unease.

In addition to the humanitarian crisis, there is concern that the violence could produce a political vacuum, providing a safe haven for Islamists. That is unlikely to happen unless the country descends into total chaos.

Kyrgyzstan’s new interim government earlier held talks with the EU’s Central Asian representative. The administration came to power in April and has accused overthrown President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of instigating the violence.

Bishkek also remains tense. Troops have surrounded the capital in an effort to stop violence from the south spreading to the city.

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