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Kyrgyz Protesters Win Land Plot Promise

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Protesters at the center of a land-grab dispute in southern Kyrgyzstan have been promised plots of land, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

On November 9, Osh Oblast Governor Sooronbai Jeenbekov met with representatives of the protesters and promised to try to find them land in the suburbs of Osh, but not in the ethnic Uzbek-populated villages where they had tried to occupy land by force.

On November 7, some 500 Kyrgyz occupied land belonging to ethnic Uzbeks in the villages of Kyzyl-Kyshtak and Ishkevan near Osh. They publicly affirmed their plan to divide the land into individual plots.

Then, on November 8, some 500 members of the Osh Sheyitteri (Martyrs of Osh) movement joined the group and demanded that land belonging to Uzbek-populated villages be distributed among Kyrgyz.

Police dispersed the protesters by force, arresting least 20.

Some 50 protesters picketed the building of the Oblast governor on November 9, demanding plots of land on which to build houses. They say their homes were destroyed during the violent clashes between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in mid-June in which more than 400 people were killed.