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Kyrgyz President Commemorates Anniversary Of Aksy Tragedy

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev (center) attends a remembrance of the Aksy victims in 2012.
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has paid tribute to those who died 11 years ago in the first incident in Kyrgyzstan when police used deadly force on demonstrators.

In a statement issued on March 16, a day ahead of the anniversary, Atambaev called for the country to remember those people "who were able to defend and preserve Kyrgyzstan at the cost of their lives."

On March 17, 2002, police in the western Kyrgyz city of Aksy fired on the supporters of a local politician who had been detained, killing six.

The killings sparked a wave of protests and public anger at then-Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Bakiev, who went on to be Kyrgyz president, was ousted in April 2010 amid antigovernment protests in which police once again fired on demonstrators, killing dozens.

Based on reporting by and AKIpress