Toll in Kyrgyzstan may be 'ten times higher': interim leader

18th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The death toll from the recent ethnic bloodshed in Kyrgyzstan may be ten times higher than officially acknowledged, the country's interim leader Rosa Otunbayeva said in an interview on Friday.

"I would multiply by ten times the official figures," of 191 dead to arrive at the death toll, Otunbayeva told the Russian daily Kommersant.

"Because there were very many deaths in the countryside, and our customs dictate that we bury our dead right away, before sunset."

According to the latest Kyrgyz government toll, at least 191 people died and 1,971 were wounded in the worst inter-ethnic clashes to hit the impoverished Central Asian state since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The UN revealed that 400,000 people had been uprooted in the violence, with international organisations scrambling to send aid.

© 2010 AFP

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