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Chinese warned against travel to Kyrgyzstan
Updated: 2005-03-26 22:50

BISHKEK -- The Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan warned Chinese citizens on Saturday against traveling to the Central Asian state after two days of chaos and looting here left at least three people dead.

Kyrgyz policemen stand guard outside the broken window of a Chinese business-center in central Bishkek, March 26, 2005. Four Chinese nationals were injured in the chaos and lootings. [Reuters]
Dozens of Chinese stores in the Kyrgyz capital have been robbed or ransacked by mobs in recent days, and at least four Chinese citizens were injured in the riots, two in serious condition, the embassy said in a travel advisory.

"The unrest has caused the worst economic damage for Chinese traders in Kyrgyzstan in more than 10 years of bilateral ties," the embassy said.

The embassy is contacting relevant Kyrgyz authorities to try to ensure that the physical safety and property of Chinese citizens are protected, it said, adding that it will take all possible measures to protect some 10,000 Chinese here and help the victims.

"Due to ongoing concerns about the possibility of robbery targeting foreigners and their interests, the Chinese Embassy continues to warn all Chinese citizens of the danger here and advise them to avoid any unnecessary confrontation with local people," it said.

Chinese citizens who are not in Kyrgyzstan should defer all non-essential travel to the country, the embassy said.

Gunshots were heard in downtown Bishkek Friday night as looting continued for the second straight day. The Health Ministry said three people had been killed and more than 300 injured. But unconfirmed reports said six people have died so far.

The Guoying Trading Center, a locally renowned shopping mall owned by Chinese traders, was gutted Thursday night, clearly a result of arson by some of the mobs.

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