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BISHKEK, October 9 (Itar-Tass) - Kyrgyz Persident Almazbek Atambayev said the main objective of the organizers of the rally and subsequent riot in Karakol, a regional center of the republic, was to create chaos and tension.
Certain political forces are behind the ordinary participants in the protest action. In this turmoil, they wish "to get portfolios" and continue "to rob the country." "But these people err if they think they can evade responsibility," Atambayev told reporters on Wednesday.
"A handful of people cannot dictate terms," the president said. "We're finding out who delivered steel rods, funded the protest and organized the government overthrow attempt in Karakol. He acknowledged that it would be difficult to catch the masterminds because to do so, police must be given the authority to tap into telephone conversations.
On Tuesday, the Kyrgyz government issued a resolution in connection with the Karakol riot, which blamed power-hungry politicians "who are incapable of winning the election."
"These actions (disturbances) were dictated by mercantile interests of certain political forces, incapable of winning the general election, but craving for power at any cost, including by rocking the public and political situation, organizing riots and causing damage to the people and the country’s economy," the government said.
On October 7, several hundred people rallied in Karakol's central square demanding denunciation of the agreement with Canada's Centerra Gold Inc which is developing the Kumtor gold field. Several days ago, the Kyrgyz government and the Canadian company agreed to set up a joint venture which would continue to operate the Kumtor field on parity basis.
To demonstrate how serious they were, the protesters took hostage Emilbek Kaptagayev, the government's envoy in the Issyk-Kul region. On Monday evening, special task force police managed to free him, and drove the crowd from the square using tear gas and stun grenades.
Six persons were injured in the clashes, including four police. Twenty-three rioters were detained and brought to Bishkek, according to the republic's Interior Ministry.
This sparked a new protest, this time, over the detention of the protesters. On Tuesday, some 350 residents of the village of Saruu blocked a regional road demanding their release.
Also, the Saruu protesters overturned a Honda at the entrance to the village and set it on fire. The car belonged to a district prosecutor, official reports said.
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev demanded at a meeting with senior law-enforcement officials on Tuesday that the masterminds behind the riots be prosecuted.
A Tuesday report said residents of the town of Naryn staged a rally in support for the demands issued by Issyk-Kul region residents. The Opposition plans a protest action in the administrative center of the Talas region on October 10.