China begins airlifting of citizens from Kyrgyzstan

Two Chinese chartered planes carrying 195 Chinese citizens left Kyrgyzstan.

Beijing: China began airlifting of its citizens caught in the spiralling ethnic violence in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, with 195 Chinese nationals evacuated on Tuesday.

Two Chinese chartered planes carrying 195 Chinese citizens, evacuated from Kyrgyzstan, arrived in the northwest Xinjiang province`s capital Urumqi early this morning, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

The Chinese government dispatched the two Boeing 737-700 passenger planes last night to bring back the Chinese nationals living in southern Kyrgyzstan.

The government also dispatched two working groups to Kyrgyzstan and Urumqi yesterday for the evacuation task. About 600 of the more than 1,000 Chinese living in south Kyrgyzstan have asked for early evacuation from the region, the ministry said.

iplomatic sources said another two chartered planes will bring back the rest of the Chinese nationals soon, Xinhua news agency reported.

It will be the largest evacuation task since April 2006, when Chinese chartered planes brought home some 400 nationals from riot-hit Solomon Islands.

The anti-Uzbek violence has continued unabated since Thursday with over 120 people dead.

Thousands of panicked Uzbeks have fled the region, crossing over to neighbouring Uzbekistan as the violence that began in Osh spread to Jala-Abad.

All countries have launched measures to evacuate their citizens from the violence-hit areas.