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Fears of up to 2,000 dead in Kyrgyz violence

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Fears of up to 2,000 dead in Kyrgyz violence


As ethnic Uzbeks continue to seek refuge from strife-torn Kyrgyzstan, its interim leader says up to 2,000 people may have died since violence erupted.

Tens of thousands are housed in camps on the Uzbek side of the border. Some UN officials say as many as a million people need help. The High Commission for Refugees gave these figures.

“We estimate some 300,000 people are displaced in Kyrgyzstan since the outbreak of violence started last week while an additional 100,000 have fled and sought safety in neighbouring Uzbekistan,” said UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic.

The southern cities of Jalal-Abad and Osh were turned into an ethnic battleground between Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities.

Visiting Osh for the first time since the crisis began, interim Kyrgyz leader Roza Otunbayeva visited casualties in hospital.

An uneasy calm has now returned to Osh although sporadic violence amid the charred ruins is still being reported.

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