BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTANOCTOBER 5, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV
1. Wide shot tear gas2. Wide shot protesters forcing their way through the gates of the main seat of government3. Wide shot protesters forcing their way through the gates of the main seat of government4. Wide shot protesters and tear gas5. Wide shot protesters and water cannon6. Wide shot protesters and tear gas7. Wide shot protesters and water cannon
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newseriesOpposition leader, others injured in post-election Kyrgyz clashes By Tolkun Namatbayeva
ATTENTION - UPDATES with clashes, injured people ///Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Oct 5, 2020 (AFP) - At least 17 people including an opposition leader were injured in clashes with police in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek on Monday as thousands protested the results of a disputed parliamentary vote.Opposition supporters took to the streets and called on President Sooronbai Jeenbekov to resign after more than 10 political parties said they had been muscled out of the legislature during Sunday's election amid widespread claims of vote-buying.Police in Bishkek used water cannon, stun grenades and tear gas to disperse some of the protesters when they attempted to force their way through the gates of the main seat of government.Groups of demonstrators and police continued to clash in the streets close to the square where the protest was held, as police struggled to clear the area.The health ministry said in a statement that 16 people were receiving treatment in Bishkek hospitals.Separately, opposition leader and lawmaker Janar Akayev sustained an injury to his leg from a rubber bullet, his Ata-Meken party said.Party member Elvira Surabaldiyeva told AFP that they had no role in the attempt on the government building and blamed it on "provocateurs"."Our party will stand with the people to the end," she said. Egor Borisov, a doctor who was at the forefront of the city's coronavirus response, said that unidentified men had "attacked two ambulance teams," damaging their vehicles with stones close to the scene of the rally.
- Fear of looting -
Eyewitnesses told AFP that shop owners in the vicinity of the protest had begun removing goods from their stores in anticipation of possible looting.Looting was a feature in two popular uprisings that overthrew authoritarian presidents in 2005 and 2010, but the former Soviet country has enjoyed relative stability for the last decade.Dissatisfaction with corruption and the domination of politics by powerful clans has increased with the economic challenges of the coronavirus fallout.Around 5,000 supporters gathered earlier Monday in the main Ala-Too square in the centre of the city to protest initial results that showed disappointing results for opposition and nationalist parties. Popular singers joined politicians in addressing the crowd, who responded with chants of "Jeenbekov out"."The president promised to oversee honest elections. He didn't keep his word," one opposition candidate, Ryskeldi Mombekov, told the crowd, calling on election officials to cancel the vote "in the next 24 hours". The preliminary count showed two pro-presidency parties, Birimdik and Mekenim Kyrgyzstan, who both favour deeper integration with Moscow, scooping a quarter of the vote each.Birimdik includes the president's younger brother Asylbek Jeenbekov, while Mekenim Kyrgyzstan is seen by critics as a vehicle for the interests of a powerful clan. The clan's figurehead Rayimbek Matraimov is a former customs service official who was the target of anti-corruption protests last year.Moscow's dominant strategic position in Kyrgyzstan -- a landlocked country bordering China -- was not seen as being under threat regardless of the outcome of the vote.Russia has a military base in the country and is a destination for hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz migrants. tol-cr/as/er