Kyrgyzstan clashes: Signs of violence in Jalalabad


More than 170 people died last week in violent clashes between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbek communities in southern Kyrgyzstan. Most of the violence centred on the city of Osh, but there also were deadly clashes in Jalalabad, from where the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports.

On the road to Jalalabad our car is repeatedly stopped and searched by uniformed troops.

After days of anarchy, the Kyrgyz government is gradually re-establishing control.

But as our car enters the small city, signs of violence are all around.

Fire-gutted buildings line the streets.

image captionAn Uzbek woman with the bloodied clothes of her dead pregnant sister

In the city's decrepit hospital, a woman is taking in the latest reports of deaths and injuries.

Forty-seven killed and 500 wounded. It is bad but not as bad as many had feared.

And on the hospital wards, Kyrgyz and Uzbek doctors and nurses are working side by side.

Victims from the two communities lie next to each other in the recovery room.

In a poor neighbourhood of the city, we come across a distraught woman picking through the rubble of her house. She is an Uzbek.

"We don't understand who has done this to us," she says.

"I have a Kyrgyz boss. We work side by side with Kyrgyz. There have never been any problems between us before."

Unlike the much bigger city of Osh, Jalalabad is not divided.

Uzbeks and Kyrgyz are already walking the streets together again.

But in a city where people have always lived together, they want to know who started the violence and why.