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Kyrgyz Miners On Hunger Strike To Protest Sacking Of Leader

SULUKTU, Kyrgyzstan -- More than 200 miners at a coal mine in southern Kyrgyzstan have begun a hunger strike to protest the replacement of the mining company's director, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Japar Satarov, a former chairman of the Suluktu-Komur mining company's directors council, told RFE/RL that a shareholders' council had decided to replace Suluktu-Komur Director Raimbek Nazarov with Ergesh Madaminov.

Satarov said dozens of Nazarov's supporters attempted to intervene to prevent the shareholders' council session.

A local union leader, Kanybek Ismailov, told RFE/RL that 162 miners had started a strike to protest the decision to replace Nazarov. Some 62 other miners currently in the mine later joined the strike.

Ismailov added that on January 11 several unknown individuals who presented themselves as officers of the Kyrgyz Tax Police detained Nazarov.

Satarov told RFE/RL he has no information regarding Nazarov's arrest by Tax Police.

Read in Kyrgyz here