International concern is growing over the ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan as the country’s interim government and its army appear unable to maintain control.
Both the US and Russia which have military bases in Kyrgyzstan have pledged humanitarian assistance as fresh clashes are driving frightened ethnic Uzbeks to flee the southern city of Osh.
Over 120 people are reported dead and around 17,000 injured in the worst unrest for over two decades.
A Russian-led security group says it’s not ruled out military intervention.
The Collective Security Treaty Organisation says it has the capability to enact a rapid deployment of forces into the Central Asian region.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the situation “was intolerable… and extremely dangerous in Central Asia.”
Reserve Kyrgyz troops have been called up and are being flown to the south where the violence is centered. Uzbeks say gangs of Kyrgyz youths are roaming the area torching their homes and driving them out.
There are real fears that the country is on the verge of a civil war or even a full blown conflict with neighbouring Uzbekistan.
With that border now closed due to the numbers of refugees trying to escape the fighting, escape by air is one of the few options left to a lucky few.