NOOKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- A court in southern Kyrgyzstan has sentenced 19 ethnic Uzbeks for their involvement in numerous killings along a highway during ethnic clashes in June, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
The Suzak district court in the Jalal-Abad region today found the defendants guilty of murder, assault, and the illegal possession and use of weapons during what's been dubbed the "Sanpa" incident on June 13, when dozens of local Uzbeks gathered outside of Jalal-Abad at a cotton-processing plant and reportedly shot at vehicles.
Several cars were flagged down or forced to stop and Kyrgyz passengers were beaten and killed. A total of 14 people died and two others are still missing.
Seventeen of the defendants were sentenced to life in prison and two received 25-year jail terms and the confiscation of their property.
The trial was only for 10 of the murder cases and the two missing-person cases, RFE/RL reported.
The trial started in September but has been postponed several times after relatives of the victims and the defendants clashed outside the court building.
Almost 400 people were killed and hundreds more wounded during the ethnic clashes in the southern regions of Osh and Jalal-Abad from June 10-14.Read more in Kyrgyz here.