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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kyrgyzstan's Finance Ministry denounces Karakol protesters

The Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Finance recently condemned last week's violent protests in the northern Issyk-Kul Province, calling them "a simple struggle for power" and not in "the interests of the people."

Hundreds of protesters in the provincial capital of Karakol demanded the nationalization of the country's largest gold mine, Kumtor, operated by Canada's Centerra Gold.

Ten suspects were charged on Oct. 11 with hooliganism, assaulting authorities, hostage-taking and making death threats in connection with the protests.

The protesters briefly took a government envoy hostage and threatened to burn him alive if their demands were not met, but police dispersed the protesters and rescued the hostage.

The following day, police dispersed hundreds of protesters who were blocking a highway in the province.

The Kyrgyz parliament is currently negotiating a new deal with Centerra Gold.