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Standoff Under Way In Osh

Osh, Kyrgyzstan; 14 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Supporters and opponents of a parliamentary deputy from Osh turned out today in the city one day after shooting broke out there leaving seven people wounded.

Reports said there were armed people among those supporting member of parliament Bayaman Erkinbaev and those calling for his resignation.

Erkinbaev's supporters have surrounded the Alai hotel where Erkinbaev has his headquarters. Yesterday, a crowd of about 200 people tried to seize the building and were forced back by armed security guards.

Interior Minister Murat Sutalinov said 500 Erkinbaev supporters were surrounding the Alai hotel with 150 opponents standing a short distance from the hotel.

Erkinbaev blamed the worsening situation on the new authorities who came to power after President Askar Akaev was forced from power in late March.

Protesters said the problem originated when Erkinbaev approved tax increases on vendors at bazaars.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service/Agencies)

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Analysis: The Long Wait For The Law