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article imageEthnic riots sweep Kyrgyzstan, 80 dead, over 1,000 wounded

By Kim I. Hartman     Jun 13, 2010 in World
Osh - Ethnic riots wracked southern Kyrgyzstan forcing thousands of Uzbeks to flee as their homes were torched by mobs of Kyrgyz men. The interim government begged Russia for troops to stop the violence, and the Kremlin offered humanitarian assistance.
At least 80 people were reported killed and more than 1,000 wounded in the violence spreading across the impoverished Central Asian nation that hosts U.S. and Russian air bases.
Much of its second-largest city, Osh, was on fire Saturday and the sky overhead was black with smoke. Roving mobs of young Kyrgyz men armed with firearms and metal bars marched on minority Uzbek neighborhoods and set homes on fire, forcing thousands of Uzbeks to flee. Stores were looted and the city was running out of food reports CBS news.
With much of the city burned or on fire women, children and the elderly are fleeing to the border with just the clothes on their backs and the few things they can carry.
Gunfire could be heard today in the city of Jalal-Abad and nearby Bazar-Kurgan village with no end in sight to the violence and ethnic riots. Mobs of angry men were overturning cars and reports say at least one police officer has been killed.
Residents say armed Kyrgyz men from other parts of the region are arriving in the village to help the locals protect what remains of their homes and possessions.
The violence is the worst since Kyrgyzstan's president was ousted in a bloody revolt in April.
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