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NGO Says Journalists Were Attacked In Southern Kyrgyzstan

A Kyrgyz journalists' organization says several journalists were attacked while covering the ethnic violence in the southern cities of Jalal-Abad and Osh last month, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The Public Association of Journalists (PAJ) said that six journalists were attacked and beaten in Osh, another suffered severe burns, and photographer Pazyle Sarybaev is still missing. In addition, the homes of four journalists were damaged after they were set on fire.

It added that Osh-based Keremet TV cameraman Batyr Mamatjanov, who was seriously injured on June 11 when a crowd attacked his car and seized his camera, remains in critical condition in hospital with broken ribs and a head injury.

PAJ coordinator Meri Bekeshova told RFE/RL the association has given financial and technical help to the journalists who suffered attacks, with assistance from International Media Support, a Danish nonprofit organization.

At least 291 people were killed and hundreds of thousands fled their homes in the clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Osh and Jalal-Abad that began on June 10.