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Americans in Kyrgyzstan warned to keep low profile, suitcases packed

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan advises Americans to be ready for emergency travel
  • There is no specific threats but "unrest can erupt without notice," the advisory says
  • Sectarian violence in the southern part of the nation has killed hundreds, displaced thousands
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan

(CNN) -- U.S. citizens in Kyrgyzstan have been advised to stay close to their homes and keep an emergency kit available during Sunday's constitutional referendum, according to a news release from the U.S. Embassy in the troubled nation.

The warning told Americans to pack enough clothes for one week, keep their gas tanks mostly full and their cell phones charged. It also said they should "keep a low profile" this weekend.

"While the embassy has no concrete information on any specific threat or plans for demonstrations, there have been rumors of possible disturbances, and unrest can erupt without notice," the advisory said.

Violence in southern Kyrgyzstan has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people. Residents fled their homes in the region because of sectarian violence between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz.

The Kyrgyz news agency Kabar said last week that 191 people died in the violence, but Roza Otunbayeva, the acting president of Kyrgyzstan, said that toll should be multiplied by 10, according to the Russian news website Kommersant.