Ethnic turmoil escalates in Kyrgyzstan
An angry crowd of several thousand beat up a regional governor in south Kyrgyzstan on Thursday.
Bishkek: An angry crowd of several thousand
beat up a regional governor in south Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, as
ethnic turmoil intensified and the interim government
struggled to impose control.
Some 5,000 protesters at a horse-racing track in the city
of Jalalabad attacked and attempted to take hostage the
regional governor Bektur Asanov as he tried to calm the crowd,
witnesses said to a news agency.
Unconfirmed reports said the acting Defence Minister
Ismail Isakov was also taken hostage at the racecourse.
The interim government has faced continued instability and
violence in the south since coming to power in an uprising
that toppled president Kumanbek Bakiyev last month and left at
least 86 people dead.
Local members of the anti-Bakiyev Ata-Meken party said to a news agency that protesters were demanding the release of dozens of people arrested amid street battles in Jalalabad yesterday between
rival ethnic groups and police.
Kyrgyzstan declared a state of emergency in the south of
the Central Asian state yesterday after the clashes that left
two people dead and scores wounded.
The head of the interim government Roza Otunbayev said
Uzbek-Kyrgyz ethnic tensions were fueling the violence.
"We condemn all attempts to fuel violence and sow seeds of
discord among our people, particularly between Uzbeks and
Kyrgyz," Otunbayeva told reporters in the capital Bishkek.