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Kyrgyz Official Says Extremists' Gun Used During Ethnic Clashes In Osh

Interior Minister Zarylbek Rysaliev
Interior Minister Zarylbek Rysaliev
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz Interior Minister Zarylbek Rysaliev says a gun confiscated from a group of alleged Islamic extremists last week was used during deadly ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan in June, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Rysaliev told the parliamentary Rights, Rule Of Law, and Anticorruption Committee on January 12 that forensic tests show that an assault rifle taken from the small group of ethnic Kyrgyz men in the northern village of Arashan on January 5 was used to shoot an officer of the elite Scorpion security force in Osh during ethnic clashes between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in June.

Rysaliev said the rifle was stolen from the Forum Company in Bishkek during clashes between antigovernment protesters and security forces on April 7. That unrest led to the ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Rysaliev added that in addition to guns and ammunition, a large amount of explosives was in the weapons cache found with the extremist group in Arashan.

He said tests revealed that the explosives are very similar to those used by those who organized an explosion near the Sports Palace in Bishkek on November 30 and explosives found in a parked car near the Interior Ministry building in late December.

Rysaliev said the other confiscated guns and ammunition are undergoing forensic testing.

Read in Kyrgyz