Uzbekistan is struggling to accommodate tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbek refugees who have surged into the country, fleeing the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan.
Southern Kyrgyzstan has been plunged into chaos this last week as armed Kyrgyz gangs, allegedly instigated by an outside force, set upon ethnic Uzbeks, killing at least 187 and wounding more than 2000, according to the official count of the Kyrgyz Health Ministry. Rampaging through ethnic Uzbek neighborhoods in the cities of Osh and Jalal-abad and environs, Kyrgyz men, both civilian and in some cases police and military, shot, stabbed, and beat Uzbeks, drove around in armored vehicles firing upon fleeing Uzbeks, and looted and torched their homes, driving tens of thousands to rush to the Uzbek border to escape.
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick compiles the Uzbekistan weekly roundup for EurasiaNet. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Choihona blog.