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Kyrgyz leaders arrested on coup suspicion

Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:37 AM

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Authorities in Kyrgyzstan said three members of the opposition Ata-Jurt party were arrested for plotting to forcefully overthrow the government.

Thousands of protesters turned out for rallies in Bishkek in support of a move to nationalize gold-mining operations in the country. Sadyr Japarov, Talant Mamytov and Kamchybek Tashiev were arrested for trying to oust the government by force during the demonstrations, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Tashiev allegedly made the call to overthrow the government during the demonstrations, the report adds. Bishkek police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowds to break up the demonstrations.

On Thursday, protesters took to the streets of the southern city of Jalal Abad to demand the release of the opposition leaders.

Authorities in August arrested a suspect believed to have circulated a video beginning in June titled "Declaration of Jihad Against President (Almazbek) Atambayev."

Atambayev, a former prime minister, secured the presidency by winning 63 percent of the vote in an election that followed a coup in 2010.

Following the coup, at least 400 people were killed during violence between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in the southern regions of Osh and Jalal Abad.

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