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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago




[09.09.2OO2] Kyrgyz villagers release hostages

Kyrgyz villagers have released nine police officers taken hostage last Friday.
 
The interior ministry said the officers were released last night after talks between the local authorities and residents of the village of Kara Suu in the southern Aksy region.
 
The officers were taken captive as they tried to arrest two anti-government demonstrators.
 
Meanwhile anti-government protestors from the south are continuing their march north towards the capital, Bishkek, where they plan to call for the resignation of President Askar Akayev.
 
Hostage takers' demands  
 
The villagers holding the police captive had demanded the release of the two locals and several opposition activists arrested earlier in the week. It is not yet known if their demands were met.
 
The hostage taking took place on the same day as an assassination attempt on the life of Security Council Secretary Misir Ashirkulov, considered to be Mr Akayev's right hand man.
 
Officials said an unknown assailant threw at least one grenade at the minister when he was returning home late on Friday in Bishkek. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
 
Kyrgyzstan has been experiencing widespread unrest since police opened fire on an opposition protest in the Aksy region last March, killing five people.
 
A special commission's report blaming officials for the deaths led to the resignation of the cabinet in May.
 
But critics have blamed Mr Akayev for the killings and called for his resignation.
 
BBC, September, 9, 2002
 

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