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BISHKEK -- A group of 22 Islamic clerics has set off from Bishkek for southern Kyrgyzstan as part of a "Caravan Of Peace," RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The clerics, all lecturers at Kyrgyzstan's Islamic University, plan to hold public lectures on the topic of "happiness through unity."

The caravan has the official approval of Kyrgyzstan's mufti, Chubak Jalilov.

The three-day trip will take the clerics to the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad, as well as the Nookat, Uzgen, and Kara-Suu districts.

Southern Kyrgyzstan was the site of violent clashes last summer between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz that left more than 400 people dead.

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