At least 400,000 displaced by Kyrgyzstan unrest: UN

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Deadly inter-ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan forced at least 400,000 people to flee the country or their home, the United Nations said Thursday.

"According to the latest estimates of UN agencies, there are at least 400,000 refugees or displaced," UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told AFP.

The number of refugees in neighbouring Uzbekistan was "estimated at between 75,000 and 100,000 people, counting only the adults," she said.

"Our estimates of the number of displaced is now about 300,000 people" still in Kyrgyzstan, Byrs said.

The clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities, which started last Friday, have left at least 191 people dead and nearly 2,000 wounded, according to the government.

The Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan frontier remains open though the Uzbek authorities have put restrictions on refugees crossing over, the UN said. Some 9,000 people crossed the border on Wednesday, it said.

Most have gone to the Andijan, Fergana and Namangan regions. The spokesman said the highest concentration of refugees were in 48 camps in the Andijan region.

© 2010 AFP

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