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Kyrgyz Journalist Says Interior Ministry Trying To Kill Him

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz journalist who was attacked on February 20 by a group of men wielding metal bars has blamed the Interior Ministry for the violence and says he thinks the ministry plans to kill him.

Turat Akimov, editor in chief of the weekly newspaper Money and Power made the allegations on February 22, saying he was attacked after interviewing Interior Minister Melis Turganbaev and an aide.

Akimov said he survived what he called "the assassination attempt" outside of his Bishkek home only because he fought back, but he fears authorities in the ministry are still planning to kill him.

Akimov called on the head of Kyrgyzstan’s presidential office, Farid Niyazov, to establish video surveillance at his home, provide him bodyguards, and allow him to carry a handgun.

He did not provide details about his interview with Turganbaev.

But he said if he is killed or any harm comes to his relatives, a recording of is interview with Turganbaev and his aide will be made public.

There was no immediate comment from Turganbaev or the Interior Ministry about Akimov's allegations.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev said earlier on February 22 that he has taken personal control of an investigation into the attack on Akimov.

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