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Kyrgyz Protesters Demand Closure Of Chinese Gold-Mining Operations

ORLOVKA, Kyrgyzstan -- More than 200 people have rallied in Kyrgyzstan's northern Kemin district to demand the closure of a Chinese gold-mining company's operations in the region.

The protesters set up a yurt, a traditional nomadic tent, in front of Superb Pacific Limited's headquarters in the town of Orlovka on October 22.

District Governor Umar Izabekov told RFE/RL that the protesters were demanding the closure of the company's operations, saying that it had illegally fired a number of Kyrgyz citizens and ignored demands to stop polluting the environment.

The protest action is taking place almost three weeks after some 1,000 protesters rallied in the capital, Bishkek, calling for the nationalization of Kumtor gold mine, also situated in the country's north.

Kumtor, which accounts 12 percent of the Kyrgyz economy, is being operated by Canada's Centerra Gold Company.