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Ethnic clash probe blames Uzbek leaders

Associated Press - January 11, 2011

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan A government commission in Kyrgyzstan investigating last summer's outbreak of mass ethnic violence has blamed leaders of the Uzbek minority for fomenting the unrest.

Abdygany Erkebayev, who headed the investigation, also said Tuesday that the provisional government failed to take heed of warnings from the security services about the possible outbreak of violence.

Condemnation of Uzbek community leaders is likely to create fresh resentment among the ethnic group, although it fits into a well-trodden official narrative of the June violence that killed at least 370 people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Erkebayev sought to defuse reactions to the investigation's findings by noting that only extremists were to blame for the violence.

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