One Pakistani killed, 15 kidnapped in riot hit Kyrgyzstan

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Islamabad, Jun. 14 (ANI): At least 15 Pakistani students have reportedly been kidnapped besides one being killed in the riot hit southern Kyrgyzstan's district of Osh.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the students have been taken hostage for ransom, but the government was still trying to confirm the report.

"One student has been killed and there are reports that 15 have been taken hostage for ransom. We are trying to confirm these reports. Our first priority is to ensure the safety of our brethren stranded there. We are trying to establish contact with Kyrgyz authorities," Qureshi told a foreign news agency.

Over 113 people have been killed over the past three days in what is being described as the worst ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan in the last two decades.

Around 1,200 Pakistanis, mostly students, live in Kyrgyzstan, although many of them have returned to Pakistan for summer vacations, Qureshi added.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Central Asian country continues to be tense, as the government has given shoot at sight orders against the rioters.

Hundreds of Russian paratroopers have arrived in Osh, the worst hit city.

The interim government in Kyrgyzstan, which took power in April after a popular revolt toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, had appealed for Russian help to quell the riots.

Bakiyev, who currently exiled in Belarus, said Kyrgyzstan was on the verge of collapse.

Media reports added that violence continued unabated with Kyrgyzs rioters torching Uzbek villages and slaughtering residents. More than 75,000 Uzbeks are said to have crossed over to Uzbekistan. (ANI)

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