Panic at Border As Uzbek Refugees Flee Unrest in Osh
A stampede on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border left at least four dead on June 12 as thousands of ethnic Uzbeks fled intercommunal violence in southern Kyrgyzstan.
Near the village of VLKSM on the Kyrgyzstan side, a sea of women and children crossed makeshift bridges spanning two irrigation canals that mark the frontier. When shots were fired nearby, a crowd of the displaced rushed forward. At least four people were crushed to death in the resulting panic, three of them children.
Though Uzbekistan’s border guards initially attempted to stop the flow, saying they had no orders from Tashkent, eventually some helped the refugees cross.
Dalton Bennett is a freelance journalist based in Bishkek
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