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Suspected Organizers Of Ethnic Unrest Detained In Jalal-Abad

Authorities believe the suspects might have helped kick off the mid-June violence.
JALAL-ABAD, Kyrgyzstan -- Officials in Kyrgyzstan's southern Jalal-Abad Oblast say they have detained 12 suspected organizers of the ethnic clashes between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Jalal-Abad regional Prosecutor Kanybek Turdumambetov told journalists that the detained individuals may have been involved in organizing or igniting the violence that took place in the region from June 12-15. The clashes in Jalal-Abad started two days after ethnic violence broke out in the nearby southern city of Osh on June 10.

He said investigators have opened 30 criminal cases and that a total of 313 cases of attacking and burning houses have been registered in Jalal-Abad in connection with the ethnic clashes in that city.

Officials said 47 bodies had been found in Jalal-Abad.

At least 250 people have been reported killed and thousands wounded in the two cities during the clashes. Some 75,000-100,000 ethnic Uzbeks -- mainly women, children, and old people -- are thought to have fled to neighboring Uzbekistan.

On June 22, tens of thousands of the refugees began going back to Kyrgyzstan.