JALAL-KUDUK, Uzbekistan - Standing behind barbed wire with other Uzbek refugees yesterday, the woman tearfully raised her hands in a Muslim prayer for her dead husband.

She had left his body at their burned-down house in southern Kyrgyzstan while fleeing ethnic riots that reduced much of a major city to ruins.

"He's lying there unburied," lamented the woman, who identified herself only as Khadicha, a doctor in her 50s, as she waited in a no-man's land to cross into Uzbekistan.

She is among tens of thousands of minority Uzbeks who have fled the deadliest violence Kyrgyzstan has seen since the two ethnic groups fought over land 20 years ago as Moscow lost its grip on the former Soviet republic in Central Asia.

Officials in the Kyrgyz city of Osh said 138 people were killed and nearly 1,800 wounded since the violence began last week, but an Uzbek community leader said at least 200 Uzbeks had already been buried, and many bodies had not been recovered.

The United States and Russia, both of which have military bases in northern Kyrgyzstan - away from the violence - worked on humanitarian-aid airlifts.

Uzbekistan hastily set up camps to handle the flood of refugees, most of them women, children and the elderly. They were hungry and frightened, with accounts of Uzbek girls being raped and Kyrgyz snipers shooting at them.

Kyrgyzstan's interim government, which took over when former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in an April uprising in the impoverished country, has been unable to stop the violence.

Kyrgyz security chief Kenishbek Duishebayev said last night on television that Bakiyev's younger son, Maxim, was arrested in Britain when he flew into a Hampshire airport on a private plane. Britain's Home Office said it could not comment.

Prosecutors, who placed him on an international wanted list in May, allege that companies he owned avoided almost $80 million in taxes on aviation fuel sold to suppliers of the U.S. air base near the capital of Bishkek that is a crucial supply hub for the coalition fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The violent protests that led to President Bakiyev's ouster were fed by anger over corruption permeating his extended family, which grew wealthy and powerful under his rule. The new government has been under pressure to bring them to justice.