KYRGYZ GOVERNMENT SAYS IT HAS UNCOVERED AN ANTIPRESIDENTIAL TERRORIST PLOT.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 88
Kyrgyzstan’s National Security and Internal Affairs Ministries announced yesterday the arrest of a “terrorist group” and seizure of a “large amount” of weapons, ammunition, explosives and narcotics. The twelve men under arrest are mostly residents of the Osh and Jalalabad regions. The authorities suspect them of having planned to set off bombs in the capital city of Bishkek at bazaars and petrol stations, to kidnap top state security officials and parliamentary deputies and–capping it all–to assassinate President Askar Akaev. That assassination attempt had been scheduled for May 5, according to an officially inspired version disseminated through the media yesterday, the very day of the presumed attempt (Vecherny Bishkek, Itar-Tass, May 5).
The emphasis on Osh and Jalalabad would seem to presage an anti-Islamic propaganda exercise, those two southern regions being strongholds of Muslim piety in Kyrgyzstan. The timing of the publication seems designed to suggest that the security bodies foiled the assassination plot against Akaev in the nick of time. The affair follows in the wake of a purge in the National Security Ministry’s antiterrorist unit Kalkan [Shield], the arrest of some of its officers and the disgrace of their protector, former National Security Minister Feliks Kulov, who is now an all-but-declared political opponent of Akaev (see the Monitor, April 28).
MELTDOWN OF TAJIK OPPOSITION FORCES BEGINS.