Kyrgyz police fire in air to end election protest
Kyrgyz police fired in the air and used batons to break up a group of activists who rallied against what the opposition described as election fraud, the opposition and a local official said on Thursday, reported Reuters.
Kyrgyzstan, a nation key to U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, is holding a presidential election which incumbent Kurmanbek Bakiyev is widely expected to win.
A spokesman for Bakiyev's main opposition challenger, Almazbek Atambayev, said 1,000 people had gathered in the town of Balykchi to protest over the conduct of the election.
"They had gathered to express their discontent with this lawlessness," he said, adding that shots were fired in the air as riot police used force to disperse the crowd.
Omurbek Rakhmanov, a senior administration official in Balykchi, confirmed the incident but said the crowd was smaller than 1,000. He told Reuters by telephone no one was injured.