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In Kyrgyzstan, special forces attack the residence of the former president
Kyrgyz special forces stand in guard at train president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev's residence in the village of Koi-Tash, about 20 kilometers south of the capital, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. Gunfire is being heard outside the residence of the president of Kyrgyzstan as police move in to try to arrest him. The Kyrgyz news site said several people, including journalists, have been wounded in the Koi-Tash village, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the capital, Bishkek. (AKIpress via AP) AP

Kyrgyz special forces on Wednesday (August 7th) launched an operation aimed at apprehending former President Almazbek Atambaayev, who was charged with corruption and in conflict with his successor, Sooronbaï Jeenbekov. This development is likely to worsen the political crisis in Central Asian countries. Images broadcast by the local media showed at the end of the day men in uniform, armed and masked in front of Mr. Atambaïev's residence near the capital, Bishkek, as well as people injured, landed or borne by others.

A video broadcast by Radio Free Europe shows the ex-president in front of his residence with a group of people before a panic movement disperses the group, while shooting fed were audible for several minutes.  € œSpecial forces attacked Atambaïevâ € ™ s supporters when he went out to greet them. Everyone was beaten up and there was shooting. About ten people are injured », told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Gouliza Tchodoubaeva, spokesman for the former president.

Two people hospitalized

Confirming the operation, the security forces claimed not to have used firearms. Â € œSpecial forces are armed with rubber bullets. The operation continues »said a spokeswoman in a statement. However, according to a witness contacted by AFP Mirbek Atijkeyev, a first assault on Mr Atambaev's residence by the special forces was fought and prevented. One thousand supporters of the ex-president gathered on the spot is preparing for a second wave. The special forces broadcast late in the evening a communique in which they deny having abandoned the assault.

At least two people were hospitalized with rubber bullet wounds and a law enforcement officer was shot by a firearm, the ministry of health said. health. "Real shots come from the residence. A member of the special forces was hit by a bullet through his bullet-proof vest. ", the ministry said in a statement.

Personal rivalries

Almazbek Atambaayev, president from 2011 to November 2017, was indicted at the end of June for corruption by the courts. His immunity as a former head of state had been lifted in the wake of the deputies. The former president is among others suspected of illegally acquiring land and having released a member of a mafia clan, accusations that he denies as a political maneuver of the new head of state, his rival Sooronbaï Jeenbekov.

Judging the accusations  " absurd"Mr Atambaïev had announced his intention not to let himself go, saying he was ready to stop arrest. Its supporters, for their part, threatened at the beginning of July to organize massive demonstrations if the government was not sacked and the Parliament dissolved. At the end of his term, Almazbek Atambaïev had won political prizes for the candidacy of Sooronbaï Jeenbekov, then his colt, but the relations quickly broke down between the two men. .

Recurring crises

Almazbek Atambaïev criticized several appointments made by Sooronbaï Jeenbekov. For his part, Jeenbekov has dismissed several senior officials close to the former president. An arrest of Mr. Atambaïev may cause serious unrest in the former Central Asian Soviet Republic, shaken by two revolutions, in 2005 and 2010, and victim of frequent tensions ethnic.

Almazbek Atambaiev had visited Russia, an allied country of Kyrgyzstan, in June for an interview with Vladimir Putin. The Russian president was then worried about possible unrest, providing political stability in a country of reoccurring crises where geography comes into play. . Almazbek AtambaÃev is a native of northern Kyrgyzstan, urbanized and relatively prosperous, while Sooronbaà Jeenbekov comes from the poor, more rural south of the country and is home to large numbers of Uzbek and Tajik minorities.

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