Tue, June 15, 2010
World > Asia-Pacific

Death toll rises to 170 in southern Kyrgyzstan riots

2010-06-15 09:23:08 GMT2010-06-15 17:23:08 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Servicemen drive armoured vehicles in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan June 11, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

BISHKEK, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The death toll has risen to 170, with 1,762 people injured from riots in southern Kyrgyzstan which began last Thursday, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

Among the injured, 826 were hospitalized for treatment, said the ministry.

The latest clashes followed violence in May when supporters of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev clashed with supporters of the interim government in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad.

The mounting tensions prompted the Kyrgyz interim government to declare a state of emergency, impose curfews in Osh and Jalalabad, and grant shoot-to-kill powers to troops and police in their mission to quell the unrest.

An estimated 80,000 people in Kyrgyzstan have been forced to flee their homes since clashes broke out last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday.

Neighboring Uzbekistan has already taken in 45,000 adults refugees from Kyrgyzstan and decided to close its borders for the time being.

"Today we will stop accepting refugees from the Kyrgyz side because we have no place to accommodate them and no capacity to cope with them," said Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Aripov on Monday.

According to local media, the situation in Osh on Monday night was generally calm but residents in the city complained about food shortage.

Bakiyev was ousted in April when riots broke out across the country. At least 85 people were killed and thousands of others injured in the clashes.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz interim government Azimbek Beknadzarov said on Monday that a tendency toward a beginning of stabilization has been observed in Jalalabad city and the Suzak region.

He said the conflicting parties in some areas of southern Kyrgyzstan had agreed to stop fighting and signed agreements to disarm and organize joint patrol to prevent sabotage and new clashes.

Both the United States and Russia have military bases near Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, while Russia, who declined the interim regime's request to reign in the unrest by military means but promised to provide aid, has sent a battalion of troopers to protect its facilities there.

The United States also urged a concerted worldwide response to the situations in Kyrgyzstan.

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