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Kyrgyz Seek Culprits Over Imported Radioactive Coal

A radiation meter showing radioactive coal at an electricity station in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, on January 25.
Kyrgyzstan's government has vowed that officials responsible for allowing radiation-contaminated coal to be imported from Kazakhstan will be "punished."

Emergency Services Minister Kubatbek Boronov said 990 tons of the tainted coal will be shipped back to Kazakhstan.

Deputy Prime Minister Aaly Karashev told journalists that all officials who failed to prevent the coal from being imported will be punished within 10 days.

News of the radioactive coal has sparked anger among Kyrgyz opposition activists and politicians.

Some have accused Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov of being involved in the deal to purchase the radioactive coal from Kazakhstan's Qulan coal mine last year.

Kyrgyzstan's prosecutor general's office has announced that an official of a company in the Chui region has been arrested over distribution of the tainted coal to schools.

Based on RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service and agency reports