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Nine Detained Over Kyrgyz Blast, 'Foiled' Bombing

BISHKEK -- Authorities in Kyrgyzstan say nine people have been detained in connection with a foiled bomb attack in Bishkek at the weekend, and a blast in the capital last month that injured four people, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports

Keneshbek Duishebaev, the head of the State Committee for National Security, announced the detentions, saying the nine, all Kyrgyz citizens, belong to a jihadist religious-extremist organization.

He said five persons are still wanted in connection with the November 30 blast at Bishkek's Palace of Sports and an assault on a U.S. citizen whose stolen vehicle was found crammed with explosives outside the Bishkek city police headquarters on December 25.

"Nine people were detained to date by National Security Committee officers and five others are on the wanted list," he said.

"Of course, at the moment we cannot reveal their names. We have absolutely no doubt that the crime was committed by these individuals."

Authorities earlier linked the November blast in Bishkek with clashes that same week in the southern city of Osh, in which four militants were killed by security forces.

Kyrgyzstan has been wracked by unrest this year, including an uprising that toppled former President Kurmanbek Bakiev in April and June's clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the south of the country that left more than 400 people dead.

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