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Kyrgyz Presidential Challenger's Supporters Detained

Opposition Bloc supporters are arrested after trying to crash President Bakiev's campaign stop in Talas on June 18.
TALAS, Kyrgyzstan -- A group of opposition supporters has been detained by police in Kyrgyzstan's Talas district on the first day of campaigning for an upcoming presidential election, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The gathered supporters of opposition presidential candidate Almazbek Atambaev intended to enter the local Manas-Ordo memorial complex, where President Kurmanbek Bakiev was meeting with the local population as part of his presidential campaign.

Six officially registered presidential candidates are in the running for the JUly 23 election.

Atambaev and Bakiev are expected to be major contenders in the race.

Meanwhile, the coordinator of Atambaev's presidential campaign in the Talas district, together with his assistant and three supporters, were detained earlier the same day by police.

Three of them were released later with no explanation.