Bakiyev's retinue behind Kyrgyz inter-ethnic violence - security service
People from ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's retinue were behind the deadly inter-ethnic riots that swept through Kyrgyzstan earlier this month, the first deputy chief of the republic's State Security Service has said, RIA Novosti reported.
Violent clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups broke out in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh on June 11, lasting several days and spreading to neighboring Jalalabad region. Official figures say nearly 200 were killed in the clashes and more than 2,000 were injured, however Kyrgyz leaders admit that the real death toll could be 10 times higher.
Kubat Baibolov, who is the Jalalabad region commandant, said several Bakiyev's relatives had been detained on charges of organizing the riots.
"The whole [violence] was initiated by people from Bakiyev's retinue. We have a lot of materials. For example, one of those detained is Bakiyev's relative Nuriyev. Is has been revealed that he distributed money and organized mass riots," Baibolov said.
"They prepared the conflict in many sites simultaneously - in Jalalabad and earlier in Osh - in order to set Kyrgyz and Uzbek nationals against each other, create disorder and discontent, and take advantage of this to seize power," he said.
The official said both ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz were among those involved in organizing the riots. He has not ruled out that clashes may repeat in the country's capital, Bishkek, "under the Osh scenario."
Bakiyev, who has been ousted as president amid April's opposition protests and has taken refuge in Belarus, strongly denies any connection to the riots.
Baibolov said wiretapped telephone conversations between Bakiyev's brother Dzhanyshbek and the ousted president's son Maksim was a proof of their involvement.
"In these conversations they say that there will be more victims than at the White House [in Bishkek]. Here you are - this exactly has happened," he said.
More than 80 people died in clashes between opposition protesters and security forces in Bishkek on April 7 and 8 and 1,500 were injured.
The Kyrgyz interim government, led by Rosa Otunbayeva, says the shooting of civilians took place with the knowledge and consent of Bakiyev. The ousted president has also denied these claims.