Monday, 14 June 2010

Top story: Three days of ethnic violence in Southern Kyrgyzstan have left at least 117 dead and set around 100,000 Uzbek refugees to seek safety across the border in neighboring Uzbekistan. Gangs of Kyrgyz gunmen continue to carry out raids on Uzbek enclaves while youths arms with bats and iron bars continue to patrol villages, saying that they are protecting the region from Uzbek attempts to annex it.

The government of Uzbekistan has set up refugee camps to deal with the influx of refugees while Kyrgyzstan's embattled interim government has given its troops shoot-to-kill orders in an attempt to control the violence.

Outbreaks of Uzbek-Kyrgyz violence have happened before in this region, but the initial cause of this latest wave is unclear. The interim government has accused ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who draws much of his support from the ethnic Kyrgyz in the South, of orchestrating the violence to destabilize the new regime. Bakiyev has denied this charge from Belarus, where he is now living in exile.

Over the weekend, Russia denied a request by the government to send in troops to help restore order.

Gulf spill: The U.S. has submitted its second request to the European Union for specialized equipment to help clean up the oil spill and has become increasingly willing to accept other foreign aid.

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