09:06 GMT +321 January 2019
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    Otunbayeva says detained opposition gang planned assassination of Kyrgyz interim government members (Update 1)

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    Members of the Kyrgyz opposition gang who organized Thursday's mass protest in the capital Bishkek planned to assassinate all the high-ranking officials in the Kyrgyz interim government, President Roza Otunbayeva said.

    Members of the Kyrgyz opposition gang who organized Thursday's mass protest in the capital Bishkek planned to assassinate all the high-ranking officials in the Kyrgyz interim government, President Roza Otunbayeva said.

    "They decided to put a hit on all the members of the Kyrgyz interim government. They made assassination attempts," Otunbayeva said.

    The Kyrgyz Prosecutor General has opened a criminal case on charges of mass unrest, an attempt to overthrow the ruling authorities and possession of weapons, Kyrgyz Security chief Keneshbek Dushebayev said.

    He said the organizers of the opposition rally had close links to the supporters of ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

    "Funding [for the uprising] came through Bakiyev's channels. We know who was involved and which routes the funds took," Dushebayev said.

    Thousands of protesters gathered in Bishkek on Thursday in front of the parliament, which currently houses the interim government. More protests erupted in the Kyrgyz city of Kant, 20 km from the capital.

    The police used tear gas and stun grenades against the protestors.

    Police later detained Kyrgyz Opposition leader and businessman Urmat Baryktabasov, who is thought to have organized the protests.

    The situation in the former Soviet Central Asian republic remains strained following several months of unrest and Kyrgyz media said on Thursday that a state of emergency had been introduced in Bishkek. The government denied the report.

    Violent anti-government protests in April forced then-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to leave the country with his immediate family and take refuge in Belarus.

    Clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks broke out in the southern city of Jalalabad in May, killing two people and injuring more than 70.

    In mid-June, the country saw its worst interethnic clashes in two decades, with some 2,000 people believed killed. About 100,000 people fled to neighboring Uzbekistan and hundreds of houses were destroyed in the riot-hit Osh and Jalalabad regions.

    BISHKEK, August 5 (RIA Novosti) 

     

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