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Kyrgyz Police Disperse Mine Protest


The scene earlier in the day in Karakol, where Kyrgyz protesters -- including some on horseback -- blocked the regional governor from leaving on October 7.
KARAKOL, Kyrgyzstan -- Police in Kyrgyzstan have dispersed protesters who had taken hostage a regional official for several hours in the northern region of Issyk-Kul.

The cabinet's envoy to the region, Emil Kaptagaev, was surrounded by dozens of activists on horseback on October 7, and forced into a car. Kaptagaev said protesters poured gasoline on the car and threatened to light it if the police tried to disperse them.

The Interior Ministry later announced that police used truncheons and tear gas to break up the rally.

The ministry said Kaptagaev was safe and sound, while at least four activists were detained.

The demonstrators were demanding the nationalization of the country's largest gold mine, Kumtor. This summer, thousands of protesters clashed with police near the mine, demanding its nationalization.

With reporting by Interfax and Itar-Tass