Kyr­gyz spe­cial forces move to de­tain for­mer pres­i­dent

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD - Page Ed­i­tor: wangb­[email protected] glob­al­

The spe­cial forces of Kyr­gyzs­tan’s State Com­mit­tee for Na­tional Se­cu­rity car­ried out an op­er­a­tion to de­tain the coun­try’s for­mer pres­i­dent Al­mazbek Atam­bayev, the of­fi­cial Kabar news agency re­ported Wed­nes­day.

“The sol­diers were equipped only with rub­ber bul­lets. Cur­rently, the de­ten­tion op­er­a­tion con­tin­ues,” Kabar said, cit­ing the com­mit­tee’s press ser­vice.

The spe­cial forces at­tempted to storm Atam­bayev’s res­i­dence in the vil­lage of Koi-tash near the cap­i­tal of Bishkek, us­ing flash­bang grenades and rub­ber bul­lets, but they were resisted by about 200 sup­port­ers of the for­mer leader, Sput­nik news agency said.

The sup­port­ers armed with sticks and stones were pre­par­ing for an­other as­sault of the spe­cial forces who are re­ceiv­ing re­in­force­ments, eye­wit­nesses told Sput­nik.

An AFP cor­re­spon­dent saw some sup­port­ers forcibly dis­arm and beat spe­cial forces of­fi­cers whom they then took hostage.

The health min­istry said a spe­cial forces of­fi­cer had died from a gun­shot wound and the head of the Chui Prov­ince po­lice de­part­ment was in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion af­ter be­ing con­cussed dur­ing the clashes.

The min­istry said 52 peo­ple had been in­jured in the clashes, around half of whom were law en­forcers.

Kyr­gyz Pres­i­dent Sooron­bai Jeen­bekov sus­pended his one-week va­ca­tion and went to Bishkek on Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment pub­lished on the pres­i­den­tial web­site.

A spe­cial com­mis­sion of the Kyr­gyz par­lia­ment found that Atam­bayev, 62, could be in­volved in six crimes dur­ing his pres­i­dency from De­cem­ber 2011 to No­vem­ber 2017.

The charges in­cluded the sus­pected cor­rup­tion dur­ing the re­con­struc­tion of Bishkek’s ther­mal power sta­tion, the un­law­ful ob­tain­ing of land for build­ing his res­i­den­tial house, and help­ing re­lease Chenchen crim­i­nal Aziz Batukayev.

The Kyr­gyz par­lia­ment voted on June 27 to de­prive Atam­bayev’s im­mu­nity, paving the way for his de­ten­tion and trial.

Atam­bayev called the al­le­ga­tions “ab­surd” and said that he was clean and ready to an­swer all the ac­cu­sa­tions.

Early Thurs­day Jeen­bekov con­vened a meet­ing of the state se­cu­rity coun­cil, af­ter talks be­tween Atam­bayev’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the in­te­rior min­is­ter broke down.

Jeen­bekov said dur­ing the meet­ing that Atam­bayev had “rudely flouted the Con­sti­tu­tion and laws of the Kyr­gyz Repub­lic” by re­sist­ing de­ten­tion.

Par­lia­ment also called an emer­gency ses­sion. Xinhua – AFP

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