Kyrgyzstan appealed for Russian help on Saturday to stop ethnic conflict that has killed at least 75 and left parts of its second-largest city in flames, the worst violence since the president was toppled in April.
The interim government in Kyrgyzstan said it was powerless to stop armed gangs from burning down the homes and businesses of ethnic Uzbeks in parts of Osh. Gun battles raged throughout the night.
Kyrgyzstan, a poor ex-Soviet state of 5.3 million people, declared a state of emergency in Osh and several local rural districts early on Friday after rival ethnic gangs fought each other with guns, iron bars and petrol bombs.
Ethnic Uzbeks were fleeing to the border, said Farid Niyazov, spokesman for the interim Kyrgyz government.