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Heavy arms fire rings out in Kyrgyz south

 Uzbek woman Ranokhon who fled from the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, cries showing photos of her grandchildren who she became separated from and had t...
 Uzbek men mourn during funeral ceremony of a victim who died after ethnic rioting between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks, in the southern Kyrgyz city of Os...
 Uzbek men pray during the funeral of a victim who were killed during ethnic rioting between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks, in the southern Kyrgyz city of ...
 Uzbek refugee woman Zilola who fled from Kyrgyzstan seen in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010.  ...
 Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan live in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Many thousand...
 Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan seen in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Many thousand...
 Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan live in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Tens of thous...
 Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan seen in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Many thousand...

Kyrgyzstan Unrest

Uzbek woman Ranokhon who fled from the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, cries showing photos of her grandchildren who she became separated from and had t...

APTOPIX Kyrgyzstan Unrest

Uzbek men mourn during funeral ceremony of a victim who died after ethnic rioting between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks, in the southern Kyrgyz city of Os...

Kyrgyzstan Unrest

Uzbek men pray during the funeral of a victim who were killed during ethnic rioting between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks, in the southern Kyrgyz city of ...

Kyrgyzstan Unrest

Uzbek refugee woman Zilola who fled from Kyrgyzstan seen in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. ...

Kyrgyzstan Unrest

Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan live in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Many thousand...

Kyrgyzstan Unrest

Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan seen in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Many thousand...

Kyrgyzstan Unrest

Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan live in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Tens of thous...

Kyrgyzstan Unrest

Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan seen in a refugee camp on the border at the Uzbek village of Erkishlok, Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Many thousand...

Heavy arms fire rang out over the Kyrgyz city of Osh before dawn Wednesday as authorities struggled to bring order to the country's south, which has been thrust into chaos by days of deadly ethnic riots.
The violence has prompted more than 100,000 Uzbeks to flee for their lives to Uzbekistan, with tens of thousands more camped on the Kyrgyz side or stranded in a no man's land.
One of the few Uzbek families to remain in Osh told The Associated Press that a mother of two was killed by shrapnel from a shell launched toward their home by the Kyrgyz military.
"The Kyrgyz are out of control. They are destroying us," said Abdumanap Mamasydykov, 38, at an ad-hoc funeral for the woman, his sister Gelbar Alynbayeba, 48. The family had remained in their homes in Dustak, an Uzbek quarter of Osh, to tend to elderly relatives who were too frail to flee.
The claim that authorities were firing on Uzbeks could not be verified, but an Associated Press photographer who saw frequent military patrols in the center of Osh heard the sounds of artillery fire emanating from their positions overnight. No other armed units or groups had been seen.
The Health Ministry said Wednesday the official death count has risen to 189, with 1,910 wounded, but observers believe the real toll is much higher, as many victims are quickly buried by their relatives in keeping with Muslim tradition.
Meanwhile, thousands of ethnic Uzbeks who made it to the Uzbekistan border remained camped there in squalid conditions. At a crossing near Jalal-Abad, another city to have suffered significant damage in the rioting, the displaced awaited their chance to enter Uzbekistan and one of the dozens of refugee camps along the Uzbek side of the border. Frustration was mounting as several hundred who had decided to abandon their asylum attempt to return to Jalal-Abad and surrounding regions were refused re-entry at a recently erected checkpoint on the road back to the city.
Unrest pitting the majority Kyrgyz ethnicity against Uzbeks broke out last Thursday in Osh and quickly spread to surrounding regions _ an aftershock of the bloody uprising in April that toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
The United Nations has declared that the fighting was "orchestrated, targeted and well-planned" _ set off by organized groups of gunmen in ski masks. The announcement bolstered claims by the interim Kyrgyz government that hired attackers marauded through Osh, shooting at both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks to inflame old tensions. The government accuses Bakiyev of organizing the unrest, but the U.N. has stopped short of apportioning blame.
Both the U.S. and Moscow have air bases in the strategically located nation, but they are in the north, far from the rioting.
The West has urged Kyrgyzstan to forge ahead with a June 27 referendum on the constitution and parliamentary elections in October despite the violence.
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Associated Press writer Yuras Karmanau contributed to this report from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.