OSH, Kyrgyzstan – Several hundred people have been killed in the riots in Kyrgyzstan, the Red Cross said Tuesday, as new reports strengthened suspicions that the violence was deliberately ignited to undermine the Central Asian nation’s interim government.

The southern part of Kyrgyzstan has been convulsed by days of rioting targeting minority Uzbeks, which has left the country’s second-largest city, Osh, in smoldering ruins and sent over 100,000 Uzbeks fleeing for their lives to neighboring Uzbekistan.

Overwhelmed by the deluge, Uzbekistan closed the border Tuesday, leaving thousands camped out on the Kyrgyz side or stranded behind barbed-wire fences in no-man’s land.

The International Committee of the Red Cross had no precise number of the dead, but spokesman Christian Cardon said “we are talking about several hundreds.”

Kyrgyzstan’s interim President Roza Otunbayeva also acknowledged Tuesday the real death toll likely was “several times higher” than official count of 179 people killed.

Otunbayeva’s government, which took over when former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in an April uprising, has accused Bakiyev’s family of instigating the violence to halt a June 27 referendum on a new constitution. Ethnic Uzbeks have mostly backed the interim government.