Hundreds of Uzbek refugees have left Kyrgyzstan for Romania more than two months after fleeing a deadly government crackdown in their Central Asian nation.
A U.N. Refugee Agency official says 440 refugees boarded a plane early Friday and flew to the Romanian capital, Bucharest. Among them were 14 of 29 refugees that were being held for extradition to Uzbekistan for alleged crimes. The U.N. agency is trying to secure the release of the other 15 refugees pending court rulings on their extradition.
U.N. officials say the refugees on today's flight to Romania will be placed in a camp until they can be resettled in other countries.
Hundreds of Uzbeks took refuge in Kyrgyzstan after a May 13 uprising in the city of Andijan was violently put down by security forces.
Uzbekistan says all the refugees are criminals who should be repatriated.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.