Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kyrgyz claim that Uzbeks destroyed their own homes

How do you tell when someone is lying? It's not always this easy.

After 4 days, violence subsides in Kyrgyzstan, but ethnic resentments linger
Washington Post
By Philip P. Pan
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

JALAL-ABAD, KYRGYZSTAN -- The main road through this rustic town on the edge of the rich fields of the Fergana Valley offers a telling view of the destruction that has unfolded in southern Kyrgyzstan in recent days.

On one side of the street, the University of People's Friendship is a charred ruin, a symbol of ethnic harmony no more. Across the road, a community TV station has been left a blackened shell. Then come the torched cafes and shops, followed by seven blocks of burned-out Uzbek homes, a miserable procession interrupted only by the trees that residents cut down in a desperate bid to slow rampaging Kyrgyz mobs.

After more than four days of ethnic clashes that have left hundreds dead, the violence appeared to subside Tuesday in Jalal-Abad. In an interview, Kyrgyzstan's defense minister said the government had largely restored order here and in the nearby city of Osh...

"Batyrov said that Osh and Jalal-Abad would be theirs and that his policy was to make them Uzbek towns," Aibek said. Asked to explain the attacks on Uzbek neighborhoods, he replied, "People did this only after what the Uzbeks did to us in Osh." He then repeated widely circulating rumors that Uzbek gangs had raped Kyrgyz women there.

A soft-spoken man in the crowd volunteered that he agreed, arguing that the Uzbeks had destroyed their own homes. But as he spoke, a young Uzbek woman standing behind him grimaced and shook her head. Finally, she interrupted. "That's not the truth!" she objected. "That's not what happened!" ...

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