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9 Oct, 2020 13:22

Kyrgyzstani ex-president survives ‘assassination attempt’ as government sends troops to capital amid mass protests & disorder

Kyrgyzstani ex-president survives ‘assassination attempt’ as government sends troops to capital amid mass protests & disorder

Former Kyrgyzstani President Almazbek Atambayev has reportedly survived an assassination attempt, which injured one person. It came as his successor, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, ordered a state of emergency in Bishkek over mass protests.

Atambayev’s car came under fire, his aide, Kunduz Zholdubaeva, said in a Facebook post, on Friday, adding that the politician escaped unharmed. She also posted a video, in which Atambayev accuses some security officials and members of rival “clans” of trying to assassinate him while saying he got the information about the plot in advance.

A video published on Twitter by a local journalist also allegedly shows the moment when an unknown assailant draws a pistol and fires at ex-president’s car as it drives through a busy crossing crowded with people in the nation’s capital of Bishkek.

According to some reports, Atambayev’s bodyguard was injured in the incident. 


In a separate development, Kyrgyzstani politician and businessman, Tilek Toktogaziev, was injured in clashes at Bishkek’s central Ala-Too Square. He was previously named as a candidate for prime minister by a coalition of four opposition parties that did not recognize the authority of Sadyr Zhaparov – a recently appointed government head supported by other opposition forces.

Toktogaziev was taking part in an opposition march together with Atambayev’s backers when they clashed with Zhaparov’s supporters. The rival opposition groups reportedly threw stones at each other. Several shots were also allegedly heard. In a video published on Telegram, Toktogaziev can be seen being carried away by his fellow demonstrators. He fell unconscious and was rushed to hospital, according to a tweet by a Kyrgyzstani MP, Elvira Surabaldieva.

Earlier on Friday, President Sooronbay Jeenbekov imposed a state of emergency in the capital that is expected to last until October 21. The Kyrgyzstan government’s general staff was ordered to send in troops and military equipment to the city to establish checkpoints “to prevent armed clashes, maintain public order and protect civilians.” Meanwhile, authorities are also expected to introduce a curfew in the city.

Also on rt.com Kyrgyzstani protesters free ex-president Atambayev, imprisoned for corruption, as fallout from 'rigged' election leads to chaos

Kyrgyzstan has been engulfed in mass protests, and disorder, since October 6. Riots broke out after the opposition failed to recognize the results of the parliamentary elections. During the initial gatherings, demonstrators briefly seized the parliament and the presidential administration, and set free several former high-ranking officials, including ex-president Almazbek Atambayev and former MP Sadyr Zhaparov.

Atambayev was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of corruption and abuse of power in June, while Zhaparov served a similar prison sentence for taking a Kyrgyzstani governor “hostage” during an opposition rally back in 2013.

The latest crisis has forced the entire Kyrgyzstan government to resign. The Kyrgyz Central Elections Committee declared the latest parliamentary election results null and void and said a new vote should be held. In an emergency session on October 6, the parliament approved Zhaparov as prime minister.

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