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Updated: June 14, 2010 10:11 IST

Ban voices alarm over escalating violence in Kyrgyzstan

PTI
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A burnt out car stands outside a burnt Uzbeks' residence in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan, on Sunday. In Jalal-Abad on Sunday, thousands of Kyrgyz men brandishing sticks, metals bars and hunting rifles gathered at the city's horse racing track and marched out to burn Uzbek property while frightened police stayed away. Photo: AP.
A burnt out car stands outside a burnt Uzbeks' residence in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan, on Sunday. In Jalal-Abad on Sunday, thousands of Kyrgyz men brandishing sticks, metals bars and hunting rifles gathered at the city's horse racing track and marched out to burn Uzbek property while frightened police stayed away. Photo: AP.

UN chief Ban Ki—moon today expressed alarm over the increasing ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan and asked people to prevent further losses of life.

“The Secretary—General is deeply concerned about reports of renewed violence and several deaths in Osh, Kyrgyzstan,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement here.

“He calls for calm to be restored and urges all involved to show the utmost restraint to prevent further losses of life,” the statement said.

The clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups in Osh and Jalal—Abad regions have so far claimed 97 lives and more than a thousand people have been injured.

“The Secretary—General reiterates the need to respect the rule of law and to resolve issues peacefully through dialogue,” the statement said.

“He urges the Interim Government to pay particular attention to inter—ethnic relations in the country and to take measures to ensure the peaceful coexistence of all citizens in Kyrgyzstan,” it added.

The Secretary—General also spoke by telephone on Saturday with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Kanat Saudabayev, who is the Chairman—in—Office of the Organisation for Security and Co—operation in Europe (OSCE).

Mr. Ban expressed alarm by the scale of the clashes, the inter—ethnic nature of the violence, the mounting casualties and the large number of displaced people, according to his office.

The officials agreed that their respective special envoys and that of the European Union would coordinate their response to the crisis. The three envoys are in Bishkek.

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