Kyrgyzstan Unrest Explodes Anew, 26 Killed

A state of emergency has been declared on Friday in some parts of Kyrgyzstan after ethnic violence erupted in the country’s second-largest city. The new Kyrgyz government put the city of Osh under a state of emergency after at least 26 people died and more than 450 were wounded in clashes that came a couple of months since President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s administration was overthrown in a violent uprising.

The clashes are between ethnic Kyrgyz and the minority Uzbeks. Witnesses claimed that several buildings in Osh have been set on fire, while pockets of gun fires have been heard since Thursday. The government has already sent military reinforcements, along with armored vehicles and helicopters, to stabilize the city.

The violence comes as the interim government led by Roza Otunbayeva prepares for a plebiscite on a new constitution on June 27 and parliamentary elections in October. Otunbayeva called on people to be calm, saying that “it is unacceptable to indulge in feelings of revenge and anger.”