All refugees returned to Kyrgyzstan after unrest: Official

The Kyrgyz refugees had fled to Uzbekistan following inter-ethnic violence.

Bishkek: All of the around 75,000 Kyrgyz refugees who fled to Uzbekistan following this month`s deadly inter-ethnic violence have returned to their homeland, Kyrgyz authorities said on Saturday.

"All the (Kyrgyz) refugee camps in Uzbekistan have now been closed," the deputy director of Kyrgyzstan`s frontier police, Cholponbek Turusbekov, told journalists.

He said that 75,380 refugees had returned to Kyrgyzstan. Around 380 others are still in Uzbekistan because they have been hospitalised there, Turusbekov said.

Deadly clashes between the majority Kyrgyz and minority Uzbek populations forced hundreds of thousands from their homes earlier this month and prompted the imposition of a round-the-clock curfew in the region.

In total, around 400,000 people fled their homes southern Kyrgyzstan, with many seeking refuge in Uzbekistan.

Around 2,000 people were killed in the clashes, Kyrgyz authorities said, with many observers fearing that a referendum on a new Constitution set for Sunday could herald a return to bloodshed.


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