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Uzbek Man Detained For Attempted Snatching Bride In Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz authorities have arrested an Uzbek man for attempting to snatch a bride in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Osh city police told RFE/RL on April 21 that a 27-year-old resident of Uzbekistan's Kuvasai district tried to kidnap a 20-year-old woman in Osh, intending to marry her.

The man was arrested and charged with "kidnapping a woman for forced marriage."

Kyrgyzstan has toughened punishment for bride-snatching in recent years after human rights organizations criticized the government for doing nothing about the phenomenon, which is widespread across Central Asia.

Rights activists say about 12,000 Kyrgyz women and girls are kidnapped and forced into marriage every year.

In 2012, the government launched a campaign against the traditional practice and increased the potential punishment to 10 years in prison.