Scenes of war and pain in Asia
With hundreds dead and tens of thousands of refugees, ethnic violence has brought chaos to Kyrgyzstan. Central Asia policy expert Andrea Schmitz told SPIEGEL ONLINE about the history behind the attacks on the Uzbek minority and the wobbly transitional government.
The Uzbek minority was the target of the violence. Officially 170 have died, though unofficial figures top 700. Many Uzbeks fled the violence to camps like this one, in neighboring Uzbekistan.
Refugees on the Uzbekistan border. The unrest started Friday, June 11, when gangs of young Kyrgyz men armed with firearms and metal rods marched on Uzbek neighborhoods and set their homes on fire.
Men walk past a burning building in the city of Osh on Friday, June 11.
The transitional government sent troops and tanks into downtown Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan, to quell the recent violence. Osh is the country's second-largest city, where Bakiyev has a base of support.
Kyrgyz opposition supporters ousted President Bakiyev's government in April. uring protests in the capital Bishkek (shown), rebels killed Kyrgyzstan's interior minister, took the deputy prime minister hostage and captured state television.Images: SPIEGEL ONLINE