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Kyrgyz Looting Damage Costs Around $24 Million

13 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry has announced that, according to its preliminary estimates, looting in Bishkek on the night of 24 March caused nearly 1 billion soms ($24 million) of damage, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Initial estimates had ranged as high as $100 million.

The Interior Ministry has opened 188 criminal cases in connection with the looting and filed criminal charges against 87 individuals.

Twelve of them are currently in jail, while an unspecified number of others are under house arrest.

At present, only 3,330,000 soms worth of merchandise has been returned to merchants whose businesses suffered during the chaos.