Homepage > News > World > 

Protesters clash with police outside Kyrgyz presidential office, at least 17 killed

2010-04-08 07:14 BJT

BISHKEK, April 7 (Xinhua) -- At least 17 people were killed and 180 others were injured in clash between police and opposition protesters in the capital city of Bishkek Wednesday, the Health Ministry said.

Protestors carry an injured fellow in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, April 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Sadat)
Protestors carry an injured fellow in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, April 7,
2010. (Xinhua/Sadat)

Kyrgyz opposition supporters, who were demanding the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, clashed with riot police outside the presidential office Wednesday, a police officer told Xinhua.

The police officer, Toktaim Umetalieva, said police opened fire and shot dead some 10 people while trying to disperse thousands of protesters rallying outside the presidential office.

Meanwhile, the country's chief spokesman said Wednesday Kyrgyz Interior Minister Moldomussa Kongantiyev is still alive, denying earlier reports that he was killed in the riots.

Rahmatillo Ahmedov, head of press-service of the Interior Ministry, denied media reports that Kongantiyev was killed after being taken hostage by opposition protesters.

Earlier reports said Kongantiyev was killed on Wednesday after being taken hostage by opposition protesters in the northern city of Talas.

Kongantiyev was held hostage inside the building of the city's interior department after it was seized by protesters, according to local media.

Meanwhile, Kyrgyz First Vice Prime Minister Akylbek Japarov was also taken hostage by protesters Wednesday at a square in Talas, witnesses told Xinhua.

According to the latest development, the country's national TV channels has stopped operation after protesters reportedly stormed into the national TV and radio building and took it over.

Kyrgyzstan's Manas international airport will be temporarily closed for twelve hours from 8:00 p.m. local time (1400 GMT) due to the escalating unrest between anti-government protesters and police.