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Kyrgyz In South Demand Credible Probe Of Ethnic Clashes

An ethnic Uzbek woman and her infant child pass a burned-out house after the fierce ethnic clashes on the outskirts of Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan, in late June.
OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Residents in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh have urged parliament speaker Akhmatbek Keldibekov to ensure that the investigation into ethnic clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in June is thorough and fair, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Keldibekov visited Osh on February 22 to familiarize himself with the situation in the region -- the site of deadly violence last summer -- and check the progress of the construction of new apartments and houses for families that lost their homes amid the bloodshed.

More than 400 people died -- mostly ethnic Uzbeks -- and hundreds were wounded during the clashes in Osh and Jalal-Abad. Hundreds of homes and businesses were burned to the ground.

Keldibekov met on February 21 with residents of the Jalal-Abad and Batken oblasts. Ethnic battles also took place in Jalal-Abad but not in Batken, Kyrgyzstan's southernmost region.

In addition to the parliamentary investigation into the ethnic unrest, an OSCE-led international investigation is being conducted with the results due to be released next month. The Kyrgyz government, the Ombudsman's Office, and Human Rights Watch have already released the results of their investigations.

Read more in Kyrgyz here and here