Kyrgyzstan troops storm ex-president’s home

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Security forces in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan have stormed the home of former President, Almazbek Atambayev in an attempt to detain him.

Mr Atambayev’s supporters clashed with the troops and one officer died from gunshot wounds.

It is understood Mr Atambayev is still inside his compound, on the outskirts of the capital Bishkek.

Mr Atambayev has been accused of corruption, which he denies. Parliament stripped him of immunity in June.

According to Kyrgyzstan’s national security committee (GKNB), Special Forces armed “only with rubber bullets” were undertaking a “special operation to detain” the former president on Wednesday.

The GKNB said that as the troops moved in, Mr Atambayev’s supporters fired back with live ammunition.

The health ministry said 36 people were injured in the clashes in Koi Tash village, including several members of the security forces.

“A Special Forces officer was delivered (to hospital) in an extremely serious condition with a gunshot wound. Despite resuscitation attempts, he died,” health ministry stated.

Local media reports said six other soldiers were being held by Mr Atambayev’s followers.

According to a witness, who posted footage of the raid on Facebook, told newsmen that some of those protecting Mr Atambayev had seized weapons from the Special Forces, who “retreated under the onslaught of the crowd.”

“Atambayev is still at his home… there are rumours that additional forces will be sent. The people here are making preparations,” he said.

In the video, Mr Atambayev is seen greeting supporters in his compound when panic ensues. People begin running and screaming as shots ring out in the background.

As night fell, roads leading to the compound were barricaded by his supporters while security forces regrouped nearby.

 

Christopher Ojilere