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Prime Minister orders probe as clashes flare over Kyrgyz gold miner

April 04, 2014, 14:18 UTC+3 BISHKEK
About 500 people demanded a halt to mining at the Shyralzhyn gold deposit
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© EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

BISHKEK, April 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Senior government officials have been sent to a troubled mining region in Kyrgyzstan's Talas province after clashes between police and demonstrators on Thursday.

About 500 people went to the streets to demand a halt to mining at the Shyralzhyn gold deposit, blocking a road linking Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and hurling stones at police called to the scene. Twenty officers were injured, the Interior Ministry said.

Vice-Premier Abdyrakhman Mamataliyev, in charge of defense, security and law and order, was ordered to the district of Bakai-Ata to calm tension, the government press service told ITAR-TASS, quoting Prime Minister Dzhoomart Otorbayev.

Mamataliyev was to join the head of the state agency for geology and mineral resources, and the government's envoy to the region, both already at the location.

The government press service said the prime minister had ordered examination of the mining company's activities. Inspections were to reveal whether the company fulfilled obligations to provide social support for residents in nearby villages and how local and regional authorities spent funds provided by the company.

 

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