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Piecing Together Amateur Footage From Kyrgyzstan

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Even with our correspondents in southern Kyrgyzstan, it's still incredibly difficult to get a handle on what actually happened after ethnic violence started on June 10.

Ethnic Uzbeks have claimed that Kyrgyz soldiers in armored personnel carriers (APCs) paved the way for rampaging mobs of ethnic Kyrgyz. The Kyrgyz interim authorities have denied that claim.

RFE/RL's Nikolay Pavlov is in Osh in an ethnic Uzbek neighborhood and was given video taken on a cell phone. The video appears to show Uzbek men, some of them armed with clubs, standing in line before an APC appears from behind them.

The men start shouting in Uzbek as the APC drives towards the crowd, with Kyrgyz soldiers appearing to be shooting into the air. As the line breaks, you can see more men running behind the APC, but they appear to be more ethnic Uzbeks.

Just search #freekg, #osh, or #kyrgyzstan on Twitter and you can see a lot more of this type of thing -- most of it serves to add to the confusion, rather than clarify.

If ever a Kyrgyz-government sponsored -- or independent and international -- inquiry is held, much of its job will not be just to gather the testimony of people and officials, but to pore over the gigabytes of cell phone and camcorder footage, most of which has probably not yet seen the light of day.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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