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Two Hospitalized After Violence In Southern Kyrgyzstan

BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- Two men have been hospitalized after a massive brawl in Kyrgyzstan's southern Batken region, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The August 2 incident reportedly began with an argument in a cafe in the village of Masaliev between young ethnic Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and Tajiks. The argument escalated into violence. Dozens of people from the three ethnic groups then rushed to the scene and joined in the fighting.

Kyrgyz National Security Service officials told journalists police had to fire into the air to disperse the crowd and finally managed to bring the situation under control.

Nine suspects were detained by police and the situation is now reportedly stable.

The Batken region has large populations of ethnic Uzbeks and Tajiks and is also where three exclaves belonging to Uzbekistan are located. There are also two exclaves of territory belonging to Tajikistan located in Batken.