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Dozens detained in Kyrgyzstan over unrest

May 31, 2013, 10:42 UTC+3
Riots in the Jeti Oguz district started three days ago, after several hundred residents blocked the highway to the country’s largest gold mine Kumtor
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

BISHKEK, May 31 (Itar-Tass) - President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev on Friday signed a decree on the imposition of a state of emergency in the Jeti Oguz district of the country’s Issyk-Kul region, the press service of the Kyrgyz head of state told Itar-Tass.

Clashes between local residents and the police took place in this district on Friday. Fifteen law enforcement officers and six protesters got bodily injuries of various degrees in the confrontation.

“The state of emergency was introduced for normalising the situation as soon as possible, establishing public order in the territory of the Jeti Oguz district, Issyk-Kul region,” Atambayev’s decree says. It will remain in effect until June 10. A curfew will be in effect in the district from 06:00 a.m., local time to 21:00 p.m. By the decision of the head of state Deputy Interior Minister Bakytbek Zhusubaliyev was appointed commandant of the Jeti Oguz district.

The Ministry of Defence, Interior Ministry, internal troops, the State National Security Committee, the Border Service and the Emergencies Ministry, in accordance with the presidential decree, were instructed to establish the joint operational headquarters headed by the commandant of the Jeti Oguz district “for establishing public order in the specified district.” All public authorities of the country have been instructed “to render all possible assistance to the commandant of the Jeti Oguz district with all available forces and means to implement measures for the prevention and elimination of the consequences of the riots with violence and threatening people’s lives.”

The state of emergency in this district was introduced a 15 p.m., local time (13:00 MSK), Friday.

Riots in the Jeti Oguz district of the Issyk-Kul region started three days ago, after several hundred residents of the district blocked the highway to the country’s largest gold mine Kumtor. The protesters demanded denunciation of the agreement with the Canadian company Centerra Gold, which is engaged in gold production in the mine, as well as the construction in this district of a hospital with the investor’s funds, the observance of the environmental standards by the company and providing by it of the “social package” for the local population. On Thursday, protesters seized the substation that supplied electricity to Kumtor. The police overnight dispersed the protesters. About 100 people were detained.

On Friday, from 1.5 thousand to 3 thousand residents of the area blocked several hundred police officers near the village of Tamga, set their bus on fire and started hurling stones at them. The law enforcers used non-lethal weapons in response.

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