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Hundreds of foreign students leave Kyrgyzstan following mob attack

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Hundreds of students from Asian countries are departing Kyrgyzstan in the wake of a violent mob attack on their hostel in Bishkek earlier this month.

Despite hopes of returning when the situation stabilizes, the exodus continues.

In the early hours of May 17, a large group of young Kyrgyz men stormed a hostel in the capital city, attacking foreign students. This assault was triggered by a brawl that had occurred a few days earlier between several Kyrgyz men and foreign students.

Despite the presence of police, they were unable to prevent the violence.

"They invaded our... hostel, and it was a terrifying moment for all of us. It was the worst nightmare," said Imran Yousaf, a pathologist at the International University of Kyrgyzstan. He described how students tried to barricade themselves and hide, but several, including women, were beaten and assaulted by the attackers, reported Reuters.

"We were very much surprised and so mentally traumatized when people came in," Yousaf added. "I don't know what kind of provocateur is responsible for that kind of hatred among them."

The Pakistani government has arranged additional flights departing daily from Bishkek, which many students are using to return home, at least temporarily.

Kyrgyzstan's medical schools have become popular destinations for aspiring doctors from India, Pakistan, and other Asian and Arab countries due to their relatively affordable fees and living expenses.

In an effort to alleviate the fears of foreign students, the Kyrgyz government has engaged in meetings with their leaders. Yousaf expressed optimism that those leaving now might return in a few months. Police have detained more than a dozen of the suspected attackers.

"The government of Kyrgyzstan has taken beautiful steps. Our student council was invited to the parliament of Kyrgyzstan, along with the President. There was a one-on-one meeting, and I hope, Inshallah (God willing), with hope in my eyes and logic on my back, that this situation will dampen in the days to come," Yousaf said.

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TAGS:KyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan Mob Attack
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