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BISHKEK, October 7. (Itar-Tass) – A rally held in the administrative center of the Issyk Kul Province, Karakol city, ended up in Emilbek Kaptagaev, Issyk-Kul region governor being taken hostage.
Representatives of the local administration told Itar-Tass that currently protesters are forcefully holding the official in his car.
According to Kyrgyz media, the hostage claims that he’s not feeling well; regardless, he was not released. Attempts of the local police to free Kaptagaev so far were unsuccessful. The main demand of Karakol protestors is to reconsider the agreement with the Canadian company Centerra Gold Inc. with regards to the development of the Kumtor gold mine in the Issyk-Kul region.
A few days ago representatives of the company and Kyrgyz government signed a memo, according to which a new enterprise is to be formed with the profits from Kumptora depots being split in half. The republic’s authorities believe that the former government four years ago singed an unprofitable agreement with the Canadian company. However, Karakol protestors believe the new agreement is not in the best interests of the Kyrgyz people: they believe that the joint undertaking should pay 70% of profits to the country’s treasury/