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Kazakh Tourist In Coma After Beating At Kyrgyz Resort

Kyrgyzstan's Lake Issyk-Kul is popular with Kazakh tourists.
CHOLPON-ATA, Kyrgyzstan -- A Kazakh tourist who was robbed and severely beaten in a resort on Kyrgyzstan's Lake Issyk-Kul is in critical condition, amid reports that attacks on foreigners have increased in the country, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Cholpon-Ata Central Clinic doctor Almira Aldasheva told RFE/RL that Erlan Balmakhaev, 32, was severely beaten by a group of men on August 7.

He fell into a coma after being hospitalized and has since had brain surgery.

Aldasheva said that after consulting with visiting Kazakh doctors it was decided that Balmakhaev would be transported soon to a hospital in Bishkek.

On August 10, Kyrgyz Interior Ministry spokesman Rakhmatillo Akhmedov told RFE/RL that 129 assaults against foreigners had been registered in Kyrgyzstan from January to June. The 2010 total of assaults was 100.

Earlier this week, President Roza Otunbaeva told Interior Minister Zarylbek Rysaliev to personally monitor the investigation into Balmakhaev's case.

Most of the foreign tourists who visit Issyk-Kul are from Kazakhstan.

Read more in Kyrgyz here