Russia to send more humanitarian aid to violence-hit Kyrgyzstan
Russia will deliver an additional 130 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday to help those affected by deadly inter-ethnic violence in the Central Asian country, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has said, RIA Novosti reported.
At least 179 people have been killed in clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups in southern Kyrgyzstan, including 132 in the country's second largest city of Osh. The unrest started in Osh on June 11 and then spread to the neighboring Jalalabad region.
"Three transport Il-76 planes will deliver almost 130 metric tones of humanitarian cargo to Kyrgyzstan from [state reserves agency] Rosreserv's stores, including food (30 metric tons of sugar, about 54 tons of canned meat and some 15 tons of canned fish) and 15,000 blankets," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
About 1,800 people have sought medical aid, with a total of 826 of them being hospitalized as unrest continues in the former Soviet republic. A state of emergency has been declared in the Osh and Jalalabad regions.
Other countries, including Germany, China and Pakistan, are also sending humanitarian aid to the Central Asian country.
The Kyrgyz interim government has asked Russia to send its peacekeepers to the republic, but Moscow has refused, saying the unrest is the country's "internal affair."
More than 80,000 ethnic Uzbeks have reportedly fled from Kyrgyzstan to neighboring Uzbekistan amid clashes, which have been described by some Kyrgyz rights activists as "genocide." Uzbeks make up about half the population in the turbulent area.
The Kyrgyz authorities declared Wednesday to be a day of mourning for the victims of the violence.