Kyrgyz interim gov't urges citizens to surrender illegal arms

17:23, April 29, 2010      

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The Kyrgyz interim government is urging citizens to voluntarily surrender all of their weapons and ammunition, the official Kabar news agency reported Thursday.

Acting Interior Minister Baktybek Alymbekov announced Wednesday a directive that calls for the return by May 1 of all weapons that disappeared since the country sank into unrest in early April.

The minister said any weapons apart from those owned by the military and police force are illegal and any citizens who fail to turn them in face criminal liability.

Alymbekov said that according to law, citizens who illegally purchase, sell, store, transport, or bear guns, ammunition, explosives and detonators could be sentenced to three years in jail.

The government said earlier this month that at least 100 types of guns, 11,000 bullets, some grenades and bombs disappeared during the unrest. It urged citizens to turn in the weapons, pledging exoneration certificates in exchange for the arms.

The Central Asian nation saw a bloody clash between opposition supporters and police forces on April 7 that killed at least 85 people.

Ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who is now seeking political asylum in Belarus, fled into exile during the clash after opposition parties formed an interim government led by Roza Otunbayeva, the former foreign minister.

Source: Xinhua


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