Mass riots force Kyrgyz president to impose state of emergency at Kumtor mine area
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has today signed a decree to impose a state of emergency in the Jeti-Oguz district of the country's Issyk-Kul province. Mass riots have taken place over demands to denounce the agreement on the Kumtor gold mine development, RIA Novosti reported with reference to the president's press-service.
On Tuesday, several hundred residents of the Issyk-Kul province blocked the road leading to the Kumtor mine. They seized the 'Tamga' substation and cut off the power supply to the mine and the gold extracting factory. On Friday morning the police managed to free the substation and detain the riot organisers. Currently protesters are clashing with the police in some villages on the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. The police are using special means, whilst in response, the protesters throw stones. About 30 people have been injured.
"According to the decree, a state of emergency was imposed on the territory of Jeti-Oguz district, in Issyk-Kul province from 3:00 p.m. on May 31, 2013 to June 10, 2013 with a curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in the interests of public safety," the presidential press service said.
First Deputy Interior Minister Bakytbek Zhusubaliyev was appointed the commandant of the district during the current state of emergency. He is instructed to take comprehensive measures to prevent, deter and eliminate the consequences of mass disorder accompanied by violence and the threat to people's lives.
Kumtor is one of the mountain gold deposits in the world. Its reserves hit about 700 tons of gold. The Centerra Gold Company registered in Toronto fully owns the shares in the mine.