Monday, November 29, 1999

Army hand suspected in Kyrgyzstan ethnic violence

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Osh (Kyrgyzstan), June 17 (ANI): Kyrgyz soldiers stopped and searched a car of ethnic Uzbeks as they left an Uzbek enclave in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, on Wednesday.According to the New York Times, the uniformed soldiers jumped got out of their vehicle and randomly fired automatic weapons into homes while shouting anti-Uzbek slurs in the Shai-Tubeh neighbourhood.Residents spoke of the terrifying moments last week when they realized that they were under attack from what appeared to be their own nation's military. They said the assailants killed several people, wounded many others and set fire to buildings."We believed that they had come to protect us. But instead, they came to kill us," the NYT quoted ," Avaz Abdukadyrov, 48, as saying.he ethnic riots that broke out last Thursday night has raised questions about whether the violence was spontaneous or the work of more organized forces, possibly doing the bidding of Kyrgyzstan's deposed president, Kurmanbek S. Bakiyev.The accounts from the people of Shai-Tubeh and numerous other reports by witnesses lend powerful credence to suspicions of organized violence, pointing to rogue elements of the Kyrgyz government and military.The involvement of even a faction of the military could be a sign that the interim Kyrgyz government is not in complete control.The interim government has maintained from the outset that Bakiyev, who was ousted in April, incited the rioting to destabilize the country and pave the way for his return.Bakiyev, however, has repeatedly denied any involvement in the violence. (ANI)

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