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Kyrgyzstan to Send Troops, Volunteers to South in Effort to Quell Violence

As violence in Kyrgyzstan continues, the interim government says it will send troops to the southern part of the country in an effort to stem violence there that has killed at least 100 and injured more than 1,000 others.

After a third deadly night of gun battles, the interim government of Kyrgyzstan says it will send reserve forces and volunteers to the cities of Osh and Jalaabad to try and stop the worst ethnic violence in more than 20 years.

Viktor Moyseyev is deputy head of the Oktyabrksy Mobilization Center in the capital, Bishkek.

He says, we have informed reservists about the mobilization today. Now when they come we have to check their information and background, they have to undergo medical check-up and after that they are ready to be sent to the military units.

Saturday, the interim government granted the former Soviet republic's security forces shoot-to-kill powers, after ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern cities of Osh and Jalaabad continued fighting for the second day, burning homes and businesses. Witnesses say rioters used gasoline bombs, guns, stones and other weapons during the fighting.

Kyrgyzstan has been in turmoil since then-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in April. Most of the violence has occurred in the southern part of the country, which is seen by many as Bakiyev's powerbase.

Meanwhile, interim President Rosa Utanbayeva has asked Russia to send peacekeeping troops to the region, saying the country could face collapse.

Zakir Eminov is an ethnic Uzbek from Osh; he echoed Ms. Utanbayeva's sentiment.

He says, we want Russian or any peacekeeping force to enter, there should be some mediators, because Kyrgyz authorities will not resolve the situation themselves.

The Kremlin has refused to send troops, but Russian officials say they will discuss the issue Monday within a Moscow-led security block of former Soviet republics.

Meanwhile, many victims of the rioting have been flown to Moscow, in order to receive medical treatment.