At least 191 people have been killed in inter-ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrgyz Health Ministry reported on Thursday.
"As of Thursday morning, the number of people killed in clashes in the south of the republic has risen to 191. A total of 1,971 people have also sought medical aid, and 957 of them have been hospitalized," said Yelena Bayalinova, the ministry's spokesperson.
Unofficial casualty figures may be way higher as many local residents prefer to bury their dead without notifying the authorities. In addition, doctors have been unable to respond to all calls for assistance due to the fighting.
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.
Foreign countries, including Russia, Germany, China and Pakistan continue to send humanitarian aid to the former Soviet republic in Central Asia.
The United States expressed its concern over the situation in Kyrgyzstan and said on Wednesday it had committed over $32 million in response to the current humanitarian crisis in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
BISHKEK, June 17 (RIA Novosti)