Pakistan and India issue warnings to students in Kyrgyzstan after mob violence

International students reportedly attacked by locals in Bishkek after video of fight shared online

An aerial view of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, where foreign students were reportedly attacked on Friday. Getty Images
Powered by automated translation

Pakistan and India have warned their citizens studying in Kyrgyzstan to stay indoors after international students were attacked in the capital Bishkek.

Pakistan's embassy said that "mob violence against foreign students in Bishkek" broke out on Friday, with locals attacking several hostels where Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi students live.

The embassy said only minor injuries had been reported, despite receiving unconfirmed reports online that several Pakistani students had been sexually assaulted and killed.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he had ordered the ambassador to provide help.

"Deeply concerned over the situation of Pakistani students in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I have directed Pakistan's ambassador to provide all necessary help and assistance. My office is also in touch with the embassy and constantly monitoring the situation," he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Indian embassy in Kyrgyzstan warned Indian students to "stay inside"

India's External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar urged students to contact the embassy.

"Monitoring the welfare of Indian students in Bishkek. Situation is reportedly calm now. Strongly advise students to stay in regular touch with the Embassy," he wrote on X.

While no Indian students were reported injured in the violence, many live in the accommodation for medical students where the violence reportedly took place.

According to Indian media outlets, an estimated 9,500 foreign students live in Bishkek.

The Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the "incident" had been brought under control. It said there were "no seriously injured people" and about 15 people sought medical treatment.

According to Kyrgyz media outlets, the violence broke out after a video showing a fight between Kyrgyz students and medical students from Egypt on May 13 was widely shared online.

Unverified footage appeared to show a group of men attacking students.

Updated: May 18, 2024, 6:20 AM