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Kyrgyz Ombudsman's Office Investigating Deadly Ethnic Clashes

Kyrgyzstan's ombudsman, Tursunbek Akun
Kyrgyzstan's ombudsman, Tursunbek Akun
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Ombudsman's Office has set up its own commission to investigate the deadly clashes last month between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks in the southern part of the country, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun told RFE/RL that the commission is made up of 13 people from different ethnic groups, including Uzbeks.

He said the commission is working in Osh and Jalal-Abad in tandem with a national commission established by the government to look into the tragedy.

President Roza Otunbaeva also pledged to allow for an independent international investigation into the bloodshed, which included allegations of police and security forces' involvement.

Local and international rights groups have said an impartial probe is necessary to establish the causes and help avert further violence.

Akun, who was a longtime human rights activist before becoming ombudsman in 2008, said the results of his commission's work will be made public on September 30.

At least 356 people died and hundreds of thousands fled their homes during the violent clashes in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions from June 10-15.

The outbreak followed by just two months political protests and a security crackdown that eventually forced then-President Kurmanbek Bakiev to flee the country and ushered in an interim government led by Otunbaeva.