OSH, Kyrgyzstan — The UN found evidence of bloody intent behind the chaos in Kyrgyzstan that killed hundreds, left the nation's second-biggest city a smoldering ruin and sent more than 100,000 ethnic Uzbeks fleeing.
The declaration by the UN that the fighting was "orchestrated, targeted and well-planned" — set off by organized groups of gunmen in ski masks — bolsters government claims that hired attackers marauded through Osh, shooting at both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks to inflame old tensions.
Kyrgyzstan's interim leaders have blamed the former president's inner circle for igniting the unrest — the worst ethnic violence to hit Central Asia in 20 years. The bloodshed has eroded the provisional government's grip on power and threatens a crucial referendum planned for later this month.
At a hospital near Osh on Tuesday, dozens of wounded Uzbeks lay in corridors and on broken beds, and many said the rampages were premeditated.
"Well-armed people who were obviously well prepared for this conflict were shooting at us," said Teymurat Yuldashev, 26, who had bullet wounds of different caliber in his arm and chest. "They were organized, with weapons, militants and snipers. They simply destroyed us."