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Kyrgyzstan: More Than 1,000 Protesters March In Bishkek

Bishkek, 14 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- More than 1,000 people left a western Bishkek suburb today and were marching toward the downtown area demanding, among other things, the impeachment of President Askar Akaev. The group, which includes residents of cities from the southern part of Kyrgyzstan, is also demanding the people responsible for the Aksy District shootings in March, when police opened fire on a crowd killing five demonstrators, be punished.

The marchers were also calling for the release of opposition leader Feliks Kulov from jail and that Usen Sydykov, banned from running in a parliamentary election, be reinstated as a candidate.

Hundreds of Kyrgyz police have reportedly assembled in the center of Bishkek to stop the marchers from reaching the city center.

The government is scheduled to hold a special session this afternoon to discuss these latest events.