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Dungans, Uyghurs Attacked In Northern Kyrgyz Town

TOKMOK, Kyrgyzstan -- Antigovernment protest actions in Kyrgyzstan's northern town of Tokmok have reportedly escalated into ethnic clashes, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Groups of protesters allegedly attacked people from two ethnic minorities -- Dungans and Uyghurs -- and their houses, cafes, and shops.

Tokmok is about 30 kilometers east of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

A local opposition activist, Bakyt Nuraalu Uulu, told RFE/RL that 11 victims of the violence were brought to hospital. Five of them had gunshot wounds.

Dungans are ethnic Chinese Muslims and Uyghurs are ethnic Turkic Muslims who originally came from China.

According to 2008 statistics, there were some 60,000 Dungans and 51,000 Uyghurs among Kyrgyzstan's population of 5.25 million people.