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Some 15,000 refugees accumulate on Kyrgyz-Uzbek border

RIA Novosti

18:19 16/06/2010

MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) - Over 15,000 refugees have gathered on the Kyrgyz border after the recent violence in the Central Asian country's southern Jalalabad region, the State National Security Service reported on Wednesday.

More than 12,000 people have reportedly already fled Kyrgyzstan to neighboring Uzbekistan amid the clashes, Kyrgyz 24.kg news agency reported.

According to UNICEF estimates, there are more than 100,000 ethnic Uzbeks who fled Kyrgyzstan for Uzbekistan. The vast majority of them are children, women and the elderly.

The national Kyrgyz-Uzbek border is open, cross-border checkpoints are continuing to operate and refugees are allowed to cross the border though with limitations due to inadequate shelter for the refugees and sparks of interethnic violence, the chief of staff of the of Uzbek Border Troops's Joint Group in the Fergana Valley, Akhmad Rakhimov, said.

At least 187 people died and more than 1,900 injured in clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups in southern Kyrgyzstan. The unrest broke out in the city of Osh on June 11 and then spread to the neighboring Jalalabad region.

The United States on Wednesday said it had decided to allocate Kyrgyzstan $10.3 million in assistance as ethnic violence continues in the Central Asian state. Later, the European commission decided to provide emergency assistance of 5 million euros to aid those affected. Both organizations said the amount of the funding could be increased.

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