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Tensions Ease After Ethnic Violence In Northern Kyrgyzstan

(RFE/RL) 6 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Tensions appear to have eased since several people were injured in northern Kyrgyzstan in clashes between members of the Muslim Chinese Dungan minority and the Kyrgyz population.

A crowd of Kyrgyz young people dispersed peacefully in the town of Iskra today after talks that included the governor of Chui region, Turgunbek Kulmyrzaev, Deputy Interior Minister Temirkan Subanov, and representatives of local nongovernmental groups.

Extra police were deployed in the town to prevent new clashes.

On 5 February, officials say about 150 people smashed windows and set fire to Dungan homes in Iskra, resulting in the hospitalization of six Dungan residents.

Four Dungans were arrested for possession of weapons.

Residents of Iskra are demanding the expulsion of several Dungan residents from the town whom they accuse of hooliganism.

The thousands of Dungans in Kyrgyzstan are ethnic Chinese Muslims whose ancestors fled China in the 19th century.

(with material from Reuters, AP, AFP, AKIpress)

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