Red Cross says Kyrgyzstan rescue services overwhelmed

13th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The International Red Cross said Sunday emergency services were totally overwhelmed in southern Kyrgyzstan, where inter-ethnic violence has killed 102 people and left over 1,200 wounded.

"We are extremely concerned about the nature of the violence... and are getting reports of severe brutality, with an intent to kill and harm," said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mission in Kyrgyzstan.

"The authorities are completely overwhelmed, as are the emergency services," said Severine Chappaz, the deputy head of the ICRC mission in Kyrgyzstan.

"The authorities are faced with an extremely difficult situation and we don't know when they'll be able to regain control," said the head of the ICRC operations for Central Asia and Eastern Europe, Pascale Meige Wagner.

"It's important that they use extreme caution in exerting lethal force," Wagner added.

Historic ethnic hostilities between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks exploded last week into deadly violence that has left at least 102 dead and more than 1,200 wounded in the southern Fergana Valley.

© 2010 AFP

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