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Osh tense after ethnic violence

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Osh tense after ethnic violence


More evidence has emerged of the violence in Kyrgyzstan that has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

In Osh the epicentre of the clashes, people in Uzbek areas have built barricades to separate them from Kyrgyz parts of the city. The Kyrgyz army has also set up checkpoints but its presence is low; other unidentified groups of armed men have been patrolling.

A human rights observer described the situation as tense and highly flammable.

Many refugees are without basic supplies and fear fresh attacks. Humanitarian aid has been flown into the region from Russia, the US and other countries. But observers say it is not reaching most camps in Kyrgyzstan because of security concerns.

The UN’s refugee agency says some three hundred thousand people have massed on the Kyrgyz side of the border with Uzbekistan, while up to a hundred thousand have crossed the frontier.

There have been calls for an international inquiry into the origins of the violence. Amnesty International says Kyrgyzstan’s interim government must investigate claims of collusion by the security forces.

The UN has said it has clear evidence the original violence was orchestrated, targeted and well-planned.

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