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U.S. pledges $36 million to Kyrgyzstan

WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- Washington said it was committed to giving the Krygyz republic $36 million in relief as the country moves to restore peace in the wake of an April coup.

Emergency officials said Friday in Bishkek that ethnic conflict in parts of Kyrgyzstan wound up costing the government more than $70 million.

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June skirmishes between the ethnic Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities destroyed more than 2,000 buildings and a state of emergency is still in force in the southern districts of the country.

The ethnic clashes took the lives of hundreds of people and displaced thousands more in the wake of an April coup that deposed Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

The U.S. State Department said it was "deeply concerned" about Kyrgyz developments but stressed its support for efforts to restore peace and democracy in the country.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, authorized the U.S. military to provide medical and relief supplies through the U.S. Air Force base at Manas International Airport near Bishkek.

The State Department added it was providing around $36 million in humanitarian, reconstruction and community stabilization aid to help those affected by the crisis in Kyrgyzstan.

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