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Kyrgyzstan: Government Resigns

Bishkek, 22 May 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Kyrgyz government resigned today following more than a week of public protests over the killing in March of six protesters in the southern Aksy Raion. The government stepped down after Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiev handed in his resignation, which was accepted by President Askar Akaev.

A recent investigation by a special commission of parliamentary deputies, representatives from nongovernmental organizations, and human rights groups found the authorities were to blame for the deaths in Aksy.

However, our correspondents reported that at a session of the Security Council today, government representatives refused to implicate security structures in the deaths. Prime Minister Bakiev had insisted they had also played a role.

The head of the presidential administration, Amanbek Karypkulov, has also been relieved of his position. President Akaev determined that Karypkulov's order for local officials not to meet with protesters prior to the March events had played a role in the later violence.