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LAW ENFORCEMENT BODIES WITHDRAWN FROM SOUTHERN KYRGYZSTAN

RIA Novosti

BISHKEK/MOSCOW, March 22 (RIA Novosti) - All law-enforcement bodies have been withdrawn from troubled southern Kyrgyzstan in order to avoid provocations that could result in civilians' and power structure personnel's casualties, Kyrgyz president's press secretary Abdil Segizbayev said on Tuesday.

According to Segizbayev, the people participating in the rallies, "over whom control is passing to criminals at the moment", could cause provocations. He did not rule out the fact that consequences of the unrest could mean civilian victims.

Segizbayev also stated that "an ideal environment for the actions of terrorist organizations that had long been displaying interest in the region" took shape in the country's south, and that demonstrators' actions are of a purposeful and organized character.

According to Segizbayev, the demonstrators underwent preliminary training under the organizers of the unrest. Among the instigators are a number of candidates who were not elected to the republican parliament, among them the brothers of leader of the Kyrgyz opposition and former Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev, he said.

"The crowd is being ruled by criminals, whom the demonstrators freed from pre-trial detention cells the day before and who joined the protesters," Segizbayev noted.

Moscow says the crisis in Kyrgyzstan needs a political settlement. According to chairman of the State Duma committee for the CIS and compatriots affairs Andrei Kokoshin, Russian MPs are concerned about the current developments in Kyrgyzstan.

"We are keenly following the situation. We would not like to see the conflict escalate," Kokoshin said at a press conference Tuesday.

He noted that Russia had certain interests in Kyrgyzstan, in particular, a military base. Moreover, many ethnic Russians live in the republic.

Kokoshin noted that the interests of different regional groups that always existed there were now clashing. There is also a considerable difference in the levels of regional economic development there, he added.



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