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Probe Launched Into Abduction Of Kyrgyz Security Officers

A protest in May targeting the Kumtor gold mining activities in Barskoon
BISHKEK -- An investigation has been launched into the alleged abduction and beating of three national security officers in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (UKMK) told RFE/RL on October 29 that the three officers, who are currently in the hospital, were severely beaten while held hostage in the village of Saruu in northern Issyk-Kul Province one day earlier.

The three were eventually freed by their captors.

The officers were accompanying the district governor during a meeting with local citizens who have been demanding the nationalization of the country's largest gold mine, Kumtor.

Last week, Kyrgyz lawmakers rejected a new government-proposed deal with Canada's Centerra Gold company on operating Kumtor and requested that the government agree on a new deal with Centerra by December 23, raising Kyrgyz ownership of Kumtor shares to 67 percent from the current 33 percent.