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Kyrgyz Opposition Cancels Mass Protest Amid Accusations

OSH -- The Kyrgyz opposition has canceled an antigovernment protest originally scheduled for March 24 in the southern city of Osh.

Activists told RFE/RL on March 23 that the decision was made due to the ongoing escalation of tensions along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border.

Authorities say they have deployed 3,000 police officers and 2,000 volunteers in Osh on March 22 to "secure law and order."

The decision to cancel the protest also came as Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security announced that forensic studies revealed that two audio recordings apparently featuring the voices of several opposition politicians discussing ways to seize power in Kyrgyzstan had been found "authentic."

The audio recordings circulated on the Internet this week.

One of the politicians involved, Bektur Asanov, called the audio recordings' appearance on the Internet as "an attempt to blackmail the opposition."