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Hundreds of nationalists rally in support of hardliner leader

Last Updated: Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 17:53

Bishkek: Around 1,500 supporters of a
nationalist hardliner who topped the polls in Kyrgyzstan this
month on today called for the resignation of the head of
secret services who they accuse of trying to kill their

Kamchibek Tashiyev, leader of the virulently nationalist
Ata-Zhurt party, which unexpectedly emerged as the strongest
force in this month`s parliamentary elections, accused the
country`s special services of trying to break into his
home and kill him.

Analysts say the party`s performance in the polls and new
rallies raise the spectre of a resurgence of the ethnic unrest
that rocked the Central Asian nation earlier this year and is
a blow to the government of Roza Otunbayeva who has striven to
bring stability to the country.

Tashiyev`s supporters gathered in front of the building
housing parliament in the capital Bishkek, calling on the head
of the special services, Keneshbek Dushebayev, to resign.

They brandished placards saying "Dushebayev resign" and
"Dushebayev is not a professional, he should herd cattle."

"We will demonstrate indefinitely, until a decision is
made by the country`s leadership to fire the head of the
special services," one of the picketers, Asan Batyrov, told
a news agency.

Picketers demonstrated for some three and a half hours
before they dispersed, promising to gather again the next day.
Tashiyev accused members of the special services of
seeking to kill him on yesterday.

"A group of riflemen tried to break into my home but the
guards managed to prevent this attempt," he told reporters on

During the skirmish the attackers began to shoot in the
air but the guards took away the attackers` weapons as well as
one identity card," he said, claiming the documents belonged
to a member of the state security services.

Dushebayev said his employees had on yesterday worked in
the area where Tashiyev lives but insisted that no-one had
made attempts to break into his home.

"If my people are guilty they will be punished, if not
then it is Kamchibek Tashiyev who will have to publicly
apologise," he told reporters, saying it would be up to the
authorities to investigate the incident.

Nationalist tensions remain high in Kyrgyzstan after
clashes between ethnic-majority Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks
left between 400 and 2,000 people dead in the south of the
country in June.

Otunbayeva`s government came to power in a bloody
uprising in April that ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Five parties won seats in the parliamentary polls earlier
this month, with Ata-Zhurt unexpectedly winning the most
votes. Sources close to the government told a news agency the party`s
victory was a "shock" for Otunbayeva.


First Published: Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 17:53

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