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Families of Kyrgyz Victims Given Apartments

Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva
BISHKEK/TALAS -- Relatives of those who died in last year's antigovernment uprising in Kyrgyzstan have been given apartments, as the country prepares to mark the first anniversary of the political upheaval, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

A total of 87 people died and hundreds more were injured on April 7 last year when security forces fired on protesters in the capital, Bishkek.

The unrest led to the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who later fled the country for Belarus.

Relatives of those who died in the clashes were presented today with the keys to small apartments in Bishkek. The Kyrgyz government built two apartment blocks, each containing 72 apartments for the victims' families.

Nadiya Sarbagysheva of the Kyrgyz State Construction Agency told RFE/RL that President Roza Otunbaeva took part in the presentation ceremony that included Islamic prayers for those killed.

Most of those who took part in the April 7 protests were from villages and not from the capital.

In the northern town of Talas, where the antigovernment demonstrations started on April 6 last year and then spread to Bishkek, some 20 participants in those protests picketed the Talas Oblast governor's office today, claiming that they have been forgotten and ignored.

Meanwhile, the presidential press service told journalists today that a special commemoration ceremony will be held in Bishkek's Toktogul Satylganov National Philharmonic Hall on April 7.

A documentary about the events of April 7, 2010, known in Kyrgyzstan as "the second revolution," is also expected to be shown.

Read more in Kyrgyz here, here, and here