Kyrgyz police disperse anti-government protests

Updated: 2010-08-05 23:12
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Kyrgyz police disperse anti-government protests
Kyrgyzstan's security forces move to disperse supporters of regional leader Urmat Baryktabasov in the outskirts of the capital Bishkek August 5, 2010. [Photo/Agencies]

BISHKEK - Kyrgyz police were mobilized Thursday to disperse anti-government demonstrators outside the capital city of Bishkek.

Kyrgyz police forces fired in the air to disperse some 2,000 demonstrators assembling outside Bishkek to support Urmat Baryktabasov, a former presidential candidate.

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Police also stopped a number of buses loaded with supporters who intended to go into the capital.

Baryktabasov has long been wanted by authorities for trying to oust a previous government in 2005 while trying to run for president at that time. He recently returned to Kyrgyzstan after fleeing the country for five years.

Interim President Roza Otunbayeva said Thursday that Baryktabasov has been arrested.

Also on Thursday, some 1,000 protesters marched across central Bishkek and gathered outside the parliament to voice dissatisfaction with the current caretaker government.

Claiming the nation isn't ready to hold parliamentary elections in October, demonstrators demanded a role in the government for Baryktabasov.

They also demanded to meet with Otunbayeva and stop a criminal investigation against Baryktobasov.

"At the current time the situation in the city (Bishkek) is under control and we will not allow a destabilisation," Interior Minister Kubatbek Baibolov said on national television.

The Central Asian nation has suffered months of turmoil and bloodshed since the ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in early April. The violence has killed more than 300 people and injured thousands more.

Otunbayeva, who is trying to restore order and stability in the country, held a constitutional referendum June 27 to approve a new constitution.

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