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Kyrgyz Authorities Arrest Alleged Uyghur Separatist

(RFE/RL) February 15, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz authorities have arrested an alleged member of an ethnic Uyghur separatist movement.

Osh city police spokesman Jengish Ashirbayev told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that Mukhamedali Tursun Talip was arrested earlier this week after escaping from detention.

"He was detained on February 12, he said.” “He was [initially] detained at the Erkeshtam border post [in southern Kyrgyzstan near the Chinese border] by [Kyrgyz] order guards in May 2006. In the same month he was sentenced to two years in jail by the Osh City Court for crossing the border illegally. He escaped [from jail] on November 19, 2006,” Ashirbayev added.

Ashirbayev said Talip has been charged in China for allegedly establishing a terrorist organization in the northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

China blames Uyghur separatists for sporadic violence in Xinjiang.

Talip is suspected of having traveled to southern Kyrgyzstan to establish links with local radical Islamic groups and stage terrorist attacks in the country.

(with material from AKIpress, AP)

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