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Osh Security Stepped Up Ahead Of Protest, Elections

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Security measures are being increased in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, ahead of a planned demonstration on March 1 and weekend local elections.

Home to a significant Uzbek minority, Osh was at the center of clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in June 2010, in which around 450 people were killed and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed.

Ahead of the planned demonstration, officials say additional police forces have been deployed and security checkpoints are being set up.

On February 29, Osh prosecutors urged Mayor Melis Myrzakhmatov to take adequate measures to maintain "security, interethnic harmony and political stability."

In the local elections on March 4, voters will be choosing between eight parties to select members of the 45-seat city council.

With AKIpress reporting

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