United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Friday for a halt to the violence in Kyrgyzstan, where a new wave of unrest has broken out, his spokesman said.
A state of emergency has been declared in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, where the latest reports say the death toll from riots in the has risen to 39, with more than 600 injured, according to Kyrgyz news agency Kabar.
"The secretary general is deeply concerned about reports of renewed violence and several deaths in Osh, Kyrgyzstan," the spokesman said in a statement.
"He calls for calm to be restored and urges all involved to show the utmost restraint to prevent further losses of life," his spokesman said.
In the statement, Ban reiterated "the need to respect the rule of law and to resolve issues peacefully through dialogue," calling on Kyrgyzstan's interim government to "pay particular attention to inter-ethnic relations in the country."
The secretary general's special representative, Miroslav Jenca, was in Osh last Sunday and will continue his efforts to ensure the peace and stability of Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyz health officials said relief planes carrying a group of 27 doctors and humanitarian aid set off from Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, to Osh earlier in the day.
Riots broke out in the country's second largest city on Thursday night, reportedly after a fight between locals and members of the city's Uzbek population. Groups of youths rampaged through the city, setting fire to cars and buildings and breaking shop windows. Unrest spread across the city and its surrounding region.
Earlier reports said 26 people had been killed and over 400 injured during the overnight clashes.
Kyrgyzstan's interim government has imposed a state of emergency in Osh and its surrounding regions until June 20.
More than 1,000 servicemen and police have been deployed to patrol the area and checkpoints have been set up on roads into the city.
Outbreaks of violence have become commonplace in Kyrgyzstan since the ouster of the republic's government and president in early April.
UNITED NATIONS, June 11 (RIA Novosti)