China has now evacuated nearly 1,000 of its nationals from Kyrgyzstan, where ethnic violence has left at least 170 dead, Xinhua reports. Seven evacuation flights have been undertaken with at least two more planned. The air lift started earlier this week. Most of the evacuees are businessmen and their families or construction workers in the southern Kyrgyz towns of Osh and Karasu. The governments of South Korea, India, and Pakistan have organized similar air lifts.
Meanwhile Beijing is offering 5 million yuan ($731 million) in humanitarian aid in the form of medicine, medical equipment, food, drinking water, blankets and tents. Red Cross officials say there are shortages of basic necessities like food, water, shelter and medicine across the Uzbek-dominated south of the country where the violence has been most extreme and we are starting to get reports of atrocities. The officials guesstimate that “tens of thousands” of Uzbeks have been displaced within Kyrgyzstan while at least 75,000 refugees have fled into Uzbekistan.