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Ethnic Violence Erupts in Kyrgyzstan


A group of Kyrgyz in the capital, Bishkek. New unrest erupted in Kyrgyzstan as hundreds of rioters armed with sticks and stones clashed with ethnic Russian and Turkish residents in the village of Mayevka, 19 Apr 2010

A group of Kyrgyz in the capital, Bishkek. New unrest erupted in Kyrgyzstan as hundreds of rioters armed with sticks and stones clashed with ethnic Russian and Turkish residents in the village of Mayevka, 19 Apr 2010

Two killed as hundreds of Kyrgyz rampage homes of ethnic Russian and Turkish residents near Bishkek

Ethnic violence has broken out in Kyrgyzstan, with at least two people killed as rioters tried to seize land amid continuing political instability in the Central Asian nation.

Gunfire erupted late Monday as hundreds of Kyrgyz rampaged homes of ethnic Russian and Turkish residents in the village of Mayevka, on the outskirts of the capital, Bishkek.

At least 13 people were injured as rioters armed with sticks set homes on fire. The Interior Ministry says dozens of arrests were made, with troops and armored vehicles called in to restore order.

Kyrgyzstan has remained tense since President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted on April 7 during anti-government protests that killed 84 people. He was forced to resign, leaving the former Soviet republic in the hands of his opponents.

Mr. Bakiyev fled to Kazakhstan. Officials there said Monday he has now left their country, but it was not immediately clear where he was headed.

The latest unrest on Monday came as the country's interim government said it had drafted an action plan to restore democracy.

Omurbek Tekebayev, a high-ranking official, said Monday the proposed constitutional changes will be put to a referendum later this year.

Officials have also said nationwide elections will be held within six months.

On Sunday, supporters of the deposed president seized control of the regional government building in the southern city of Jalalabad and broke into a local television station.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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