Kyrgyz interim leader vows to crack down on rioters

17:39, April 21, 2010      

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Interim government leader Roza Otunbayeva speaks during a press conference in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, April 8, 2010. (Xinhua/Sadat, File Photo)

Seeking to restore order in Kyrgyzstan, the country's interim government leader Roza Otunbayeva vowed on Tuesday to use "deadly force" against looters and armed assaulters.

The interim leader urged the Kyrgyz people to stay calm and fight those who tried to undermine public order and inter-ethnic coherence in her address to the nation on Tuesday.

Law enforcement officers are entitled to use deadly force when facing armed assaults against civilians, their homes and private property, attempts on their lives, as well as strikes on civilian and military objects, she said.

The speech, aiming to quell the unrest and restore domestic stability, came two days after a violent ethnic clash in Mayevka village on the outskirts of the capital Bishkek that killed five people on Monday.

About 1,000 ethnic Kyrgyz mobs stormed the village with a mixed population of Russians, Kyrgyz and Meskhetian Turks and asked the authorities to give them arable land.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who supports the interim regime, issued an order to take measures to protect the safety of Russian citizens in Kyrgyzstan after the clash, a Kremlin spokesman said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, supporters of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who stormed the regional administration building in the country's southern city of Jalalabad last Saturday, have installed a pro-Bakiyev governor and are in effective control.

The Central Asian country sank into chaos after Bakiyev was ousted in a violent protest in the capital and other cities early this month.

Fleeing into exile first in Kyrgyz's southern city of Osh, and then in Kazakhstan, Bakiyev and his family finally have to seek protection in Belarus.

Addressing the parliament on Tuesday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the deposed Kyrgyz president and his family members are "guests," adding that they are now under the protection of his office and his country.

However, the interim government accused Bakiyev and his brother Zhanysh Bakiyev, defense minister of the toppled regime, of ordering troops to shoot protesters during the unrest on April 7, which killed over 80 people, and wanted him to stand on trial.

Source: Xinhua


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