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Protesters Demand Detained Kyrgyz Governor's Release

ALA-BUKA, Kyrgyzstan -- Some 1,000 protesters blocked the entrance to a district government building in southern Kyrgyzstan today to demand the release of the local governor who was detained for suspected bribe-taking, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Ulan Baimyrzaev, governor of Ala-Buka district in southern Jalal-Abad region, was arrested over the weekend in the southern city of Osh. He is currently being held in a pretrial detention center in Osh.

The protesters in Ala-Buka say they do not believe that Baimyrzaev took bribes and claim that his arrest is politically motivated.

They say Baimyrzaev played a key role in promoting reconciliation between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz after the deadly clashes between the two ethnic groups in mid-June last year.

Local law enforcement officials have not yet issued any statement about Baimyrzaev's arrest.

Read more in Kyrgyz here