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37 killed in Kyrgyz ethnic riots

Osh (Kyrgyzstan), June 11 (Reuters): At least 37 people were killed today when ethnic conflict flared in Kyrgyzstan’s second-largest city Osh, the worst outbreak of violence in the Central Asian state since the President was overthrown in April.

The interim government in Kyrgyzstan, which hosts US and Russian military bases, declared a state of emergency in Osh and several local rural districts after hundreds of youths battled with guns and steel bars, setting shops ablaze in the city.

A Reuters correspondent said Uzbek neighbourhood, Cheryomushki, was ablaze. She said she had seen clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, many people building barricades and a crowd setting fire to two large restaurants and a supermarket. The government, led by Roza Otunbayeva, sent troops and armoured vehicles to quell gangs roaming the streets with sticks, stones and petrol bombs after a night of violence.

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