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Kyrgyz Officials Accuse Kazakh Website Of Inciting Ethnic Hatred

A Kyrgyz Interior Ministry officer talks to refugees on a street in the town of Osh in mid-June, about a week after the worst of the interethnic violence erupted in southern Kyrgyzstan.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz prosecutors have requested that Kazakhstan charge the owner of a Kazakh-based website and a journalist who writes for it with "inciting interethnic hatred" amid ethnic violence last month, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The website carried the article at the heart of the controversy, titled "Kyrgyz Kill Uzbeks Even In Mosques."

Following up on previously reported suspicions, Kyrgyzstan's Prosecutor-General's Office now insists that the author of the article, Asror Muminov, and the owner of the website, Valery Khlyupin, should be "punished for distributing false information" that could foment ethnic violence.

Kyrgyz authorities said a special investigation has revealed that no one was killed either inside or near a mosque during the ethnic unrest in mid-June in the southern Kyrgyz cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad.

The Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office told RFE/RL that Khlyupin has written to Kyrgyz authorities saying that 90 percent of the information used in Muminov's article was based on data provided by sources within the Kyrgyz government.

Khlyupin added in his letter that he is ready to apologize to the Kyrgyz government if any statement in Muminov's article is proved to be erroneous.

At least 300 people were killed and many tens of thousands fled their homes in violent clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Osh and Jalal-Abad from June 10-15.