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Kyrgyz ex-president charged with special forces soldier’s murder

The former president is also charged with using force against law enforcement officers, organizing mass unrest and hostage taking

BISHKEK, August 13. /TASS/. A number of severe charges have been brought against Kyrgyzstan’s former President Almazbek Atambayev, including the murder of a special forces solider, Department Chief at the Kyrgyz Prosecutor General’s Office Zamir Beishekeyev said at a press conference on Tuesday.

According to him, the former president is also charged with using force against law enforcement officers, organizing mass unrest and hostage taking.

A total of 24 pieces of firearms were seized in former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev’s residence following his detention, the Kyrgyz Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement on Tuesday.

"A total of 24 pieces of firearms were seized in Atambayev’s house in the Koi-Tash settlement," the statement reads. Six Kalashnikov rifles, a Dragunov sniper rifle, hunting rifles, short rifles, a pump-action rifle and a rubber-bullet handgun were seized.

Kyrgyzstan’s Interior Minister Kashkar Dzhunushaliyev said at a press conference on Monday that ballistic and other sort of examinations were being conducted at the former president’s house.

Kyrgyz special forces’ operation to detain the former president, charged with corruption and stripped of immunity, lasted for almost 24 hours as law enforcement officers faced strong resistance from Atambayev’s supporters defending his residence in the settlement of Koi-Tash. A special forces soldier was killed in the operation, while over 100 people suffered injuries. Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov said Atambayev had violated the country’s constitution by offering armed resistance to law enforcement agencies. The ex-president has been taken into custody until August 26.

Atambayev served as Kyrgyz president in 2011-2017. He was the country’s first head of state to step down after his first term in office had expired. In the spring of 2018, Atambayev admitted that he had strong differences with incumbent President Sooronbay Jeenbekov.