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Kyrgyzstan Marks Shooting Anniversary, Amid Opposition Warnings


A small group of opposition members gathered outside the Government House in Bishkek to mark the Aksy tragedy.

A small group of opposition members gathered outside the Government House in Bishkek to mark the Aksy tragedy.

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan has marked the seventh anniversary of shootings in the southern district of Aksy that left six dead and 28 wounded, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

President Kurmanbek Bakiev issued a special statement in which he called the Aksy victims heroes who will remain in Kyrgyzstan's history as "fighters for freedom."

On March 17, 2002, local police opened fire on demonstrators protesting the Kyrgyz government's decision to give up a swathe of disputed territory to neighboring China.

The victims of the shootings were commemorated in the capital, Bishkek, and in the Aksy region where the event took place.

Meanwhile, those who gathered to commemorate the Aksy victims in the village of Kara-Jygach, in the Jalal-Abat region, adopted a resolution urging the government to submit the names of those responsible for the event. Some called for the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

The resolution also demands an immediate end to the intimidation of opposition leaders and activists, and warns that if the government does not heed that call by March 25, mass protests will be held in the region the following day.
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