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Kyrgyz Shoot-Out Leaves Militant, Policeman, Civilians Dead

  • RFE/RL

Kyrgyz police killed a suspected Islamist militant escapee from prison in a shoot-out in which a policeman and two civilians also died on the outskirts of the capital, Bishkek, the Interior Ministry says.

The incident followed two similar gunbattles between police and militants in July.

A ministry spokesman on October 22 said police had killed Altynbek Itibaev, who had been convicted of murder and faced more charges, after he barricaded himself inside an apartment on the top floor of a three-story building and shot at policemen.

Two civilians were killed by gunshots after stepping out on the balcony of a next-door apartment, he said, adding that one policeman was killed in the shoot-out.

Itibaev was freed from prison in a 2014 amnesty, then detained again in July after security forces killed six gunmen in clashes in Bishkek. He was charged with being a member of the same militant group as the dead gunmen.

Together with eight other detainees and convicts, he escaped from prison on October 11 when the group killed three prison guards. Five escapees were detained within hours, while Itibayev and three others remained on the run.

Police killed two of the other escapees and detained a third one earlier on October 22.

Three of the five men detained immediately after escaping have died in police custody, two of them of heart ailments, the state agency overseeing prisons and detention centers said. The third death was under investigation.

With reporting by Reuters and TASS