Southern Kyrgyzstan Gripped By Ethnic Violence

"Southern Kyrgyzstan remains gripped by inter-ethnic violence as bodies of Uzbeks killed by Kyrgyz gangs lay in the streets and a wave of refugees flees the country for Uzbekistan. The death toll following a tense night stood at 117 with fears of much higher figures to come.Many homes are reported on fire in the cities of Osh and Jalalabad and other towns of southern Kyrgyzstan, where gangs of the majority ethnic-Kyrgyz population went on a killing spree against Uzbeks on Friday. There has also been widespread looting of Uzbek shops.The International Red Cross estimates about 80,000 refugees have fled the unrest, mostly women and children. They went to Uzbekistan or are stuck on the border with that country. Men are staying behind to protect homes and remaining family members.In addition to the scores of reported deaths, about 1,500 people were injured. Some Uzbeks are claiming there have been considerably more fatalities. "