Monday, November 29, 1999

191 killed in Kyrgyzstan violence

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Bishkek, June 17 (IANS/RIA Novosti) At least 191 people have been killed and thousands injured in the ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan since last week, Kyrgyz health ministry said Thursday.'As of Thursday morning, the number of people killed in clashes in the south of the republic has risen to 191. A total of 1,971 people have also sought medical aid, and 957 of them have been hospitalised,' said Yelena Bayalinova, the ministry's spokesperson.Unofficial casualty figures may be way higher as many residents prefer to bury their dead relatives without notifying the authorities. Also, doctors have been facing difficulties in responding calls for assistance due to the fighting.More than 80,000 ethnic Uzbeks have reportedly fled from Kyrgyzstan to neighbouring Uzbekistan amid clashes, which have been described by some Kyrgyz rights activists as 'genocide'.Uzbeks constitute about half of the total population in the riot-hit area.Several countries, including Russia, Germany, China and Pakistan, continue to send humanitarian aid to the former Soviet republic. The United States Wednesday committed over $32 million in aid to the crisis.

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