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10 Oct, 2020 15:00

Kyrgyz ex-leader Atambayev detained 4 days after being released from prison amid political unrest & assassination attempt

Kyrgyz ex-leader Atambayev detained 4 days after being released from prison amid political unrest & assassination attempt

Former President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev has been detained “in relation to riots” after he accused the secret services of plotting to kill him. He was released from prison when his supporters surrounded it on Tuesday.

Atambayev is being held in relation to a criminal case about staging mass riots, according to the State Committee for National Security (GKNB). There were also reports that the former president’s two sons were detained as well, but the GKNB denied this.

On Friday, Atambayev spoke at a rally in the center of the country’s capital, Bishkek. The event spiraled into scuffles between his supporters and the supporters of the new Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov. As Atambayev was leaving the event, an unknown assailant was filmed firing a handgun at his car. The politician’s bodyguard was injured; however, Atambayev was unharmed.

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

The former president later told reporters he had known about a planned attempt on his life. He compared the GKNB to “mafia” members and claimed that the secret service agency was involved in a plot to kill him.

Kyrgyzstan plunged into political chaos after several opposition parties alleged that the October 4 parliamentary election was rigged. Large-scale protests erupted, and in the early hours of Tuesday the crowd broke into the White House, the seat of the parliament and the president’s office, looting and starting a fire inside. The Central Election Commission nullified the results of the parliamentary vote the next morning “in order to avoid tensions in the country.”

Atambayev served as president between 2011 and 2017. He was serving an 11-year prison sentence on corruption charges before he was promptly released on Tuesday after a crowd of protesters descended on the facility he was held in.

On Friday, President Sooronbay Jeenbekov fired the government and, on Saturday, a curfew was imposed in Bishkek from 9pm to 5am. He refused to resign immediately, but promised to step down after the country returns to “the way of the law.”

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