7 Apr 2010

Unrest in Kyrgyzstan prompts state of emergency

Civil unrest engulfed the politically troubled central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan Wednesday, with the government declaring a state of emergency and street fighting resulting in 17 deaths, the Interfax news agency reported.

Seventeen people were killed in clashes in Kyrgyzstan's capital Wednesday, the Kyrgyz national news agency also reported, quoting the country's Health Ministry. Most of them died from bullet wounds. More than 140 people have been injured.

Earlier, human rights activist Toktaim Umetaliyeva had told Interfax 10 people at an opposition rally in Bishkek had been shot and killed by police dispersing demonstrators near a government building. Using riot gear, stun grenades and dogs, police in Bishkek detained protesters and hauled them away in buses.

Quoting eyewitnesses, Interfax reported that police managed to push opposition supporters away from the square outside the Kyrgyz government's building in Bishkek. Some protesters stopped buses in attempts to block central streets.

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