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Kyrgyzstan Steps Up Security To Fight Crime Wave

Interior Minister Moldomusa Kongantiev
BISHKEK (Reuters) -- Kyrgyz police have posted armed officers at checkpoints on the outskirts of the capital, Bishkek, and started around-the-clock patrolling to fight rising crime, the Interior Ministry has said.

Kyrgyzstan was shocked by a brutal attack on a prominent journalist earlier this week, who was stabbed repeatedly by unidentified assailants outside of his newsroom.

"Crime is on the rise in Bishkek," Interior Minister Moldomusa Kangantiev told reporters. "We are stepping up our efforts. Armed policemen will work during night shifts."

"In addition, five round-the-clock checkpoints are being installed at entry and exit points around Bishkek."

Kyrgyzstan has been volatile since 2005, when mass riots triggered by a flawed parliamentary election forced former leader Askar Akaev to leave the country. During the riots, groups of men plundered stores around the city.