Kyrgyzstan: An assassination attempt against the Kyrgyz former president
A state of emergency has come into force in Kyrgyzstan hours earlier from an assassination attempt against the Kyrgyz former president.
The former president of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, survived an assassination attempt in Bishkek when his car was shot at, Russia’s RIA news agency cited an aide as saying.
Atambayev was out among the crowds on Friday supporting Omurbek Babanov, a former prime minister who has emerged as a contender for the new PM role after the government of Kubatbek Boronov resigned.
But a rival group of protesters, who support Sadyr Zhaparov, an opposition politician who was released from jail and also wants the PM position, took to the stage, prompting a mass brawl.
There were clashes between the crowds for the next 10 minutes and Atambayev fled the scene.
Friday’s apparent assassination attempt against Atambayev, who was also freed from prison amid unrest following a disputed October 4 parliamentary vote, marked a new escalation of violence in the Central Asian country.
Chaos has gripped the capital since the controversial parliamentary election held less than a week ago, with supporters of rival political groups taking to the streets. The results of that election have now been annulled.
On Tuesday, demonstrators stormed the country’s parliament, demanding that a new vote be held.
President Sooronbay Jeenbekov ordered a state of emergency to come into effect at 20:00 local time (14:00GMT) on Friday and last until 21 October.
A curfew and strict military restrictions have been imposed, including controls on who can travel in and out of the capital.
The decree also gives permission to the army to set up security posts in Bishkek, deploying soldiers and military hardware.
Atambayev was once close with his successor Jeenbekov, but the pair fell out shortly after the 61-year-old won the country’s last presidential election in 2017.