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Kyrgyz Protests Continue Over Cyanide Pollution

2 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Environmental protesters are affecting the operations of a gold mine in northern Kyrgyzstan as they continue an ongoing protest.

The demonstrators come from five villages in the region. They have been blocking roads to the Kumtor mine in northern Kyrgyzstan for about a week, protesting cyanide pollution from the mine that contaminated a local river.

Tynara Shaildaeva, a spokeswoman for the Kumtor mine, today said that the protesters are affecting the mine's output.

Protesters want the Canadian mining firm Centerra, which operates the mine, as well as Kyrgyz authorities to compensate victims of the pollution.

The spillage of cyanide into the river happened several years ago, but locals say the former government failed to adequately compensate victims.

Demonstrators are calling on the new Kyrgyz government to take immediate action to compensate the victims.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service/AFP/Reuters)