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Uzbek refugees return to their burnt out homes

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Uzbek refugees return to their burnt out homes


Some of the 400,000 Uzbeks who fled Kyrgyzstan’s ethnic violence earlier this month have begun returning to their homes in the southern city of Osh.

However many were reluctant to leave the relative safety of their makeshift camps across the border in Uzbekistan.

“We have bitter feelings,” said one refugee. “We are afraid that the same might happen again. We would not wish anything like this on anybody and we don’t know what to expect.”

Almost all of the refugees found it an emotional experience returning to their devastated districts, with burnt out houses and cars. There was very little left of what they had once called home.

Around 2,000 people died in three days of killing which began when gang attacks led to fierce fighting between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. The interim government, which appeared unable to maintain control, is now preparing for a referendum on constitutional reform.

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