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Dozens detained in Kyrgyzstan over unrest

May 31, 2013, 8:32 UTC+3

The exact number of detained people is not known yet

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BISHKEK, May 31 (Itar-Tass) - Dozens of people are detained by law-enforcement authorities in Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul region for mass disorders, arbitrariness and disorderly conduct, a source at the republic's Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass on Friday.

The exact number of detained people is not known yet. But it is known that policemen operated in accordance with the law and detained only the most aggressive persons, the source noted.

In the Dzhet-Oguz district three days ago, 300-500 local residents blocked the road to the Kumtor gold deposit, the largest in the country. The people demanded to denounce the agreement with Canadian investors, increase the "social package" for residents in the region and observe the environmental protection regulations. On Thursday, the protesters seized the substation that supplies electricity to the gold mine. It could cause a complete halt of the work at the mine.

Power supply has resumed in full to Kumtor. The situation in the Dzhet-Oguz district is stable, the Interior Ministry reported. Ministry officials do not rule out actions may be taken soon to unblock the road. The instigators of the unlawful actions among the protesters will be identified, ministry sources said.

According to the preliminary information, the electricity cutoff has not seriously affected the work process in Kumtor.

The Centerra Gold company, Canada, works at the Kumtor deposit. A third of the shares belongs to the Kyrgyz company. According to the official data, the gold output amounted to about 9.8 tonnes last year.

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