KYRGYZSTAN

Fear and looting in Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan's opposition party took power yesterday after violent clashes between demonstrators and government forces left at least 68 dead. Our Observer in the capital, Bishkek, tells us of alarming rumours circulating in the city today. Read more…

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Kyrgyzstan's opposition party took power yesterday after violent clashes between demonstrators and government forces left at least 68 dead. Our Observer in the capital, Bishkek, tells us of alarming rumours circulating in the city today.

Dmitri (not his real name) is a webmaster in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

I heard gunfire and explosions the whole night. There's been a lot of looting. [Editor's note: The leader of the opposition, Roza Otunbayeva, has called on the demonstrators to stop looting]. I myself saw people loot the supermarket Narodniy. This morning it's calmer, but I’m afraid it’ll start up again.

Lots of rumours are circulating on the Internet and on the streets. Everybody thinks that the looting will continue, especially tonight. They say that armed groups are getting organised and are going to attack the city's rich neighbourhoods. [Ed. Another Observer in Bishkek has confirmed to us that such rumours are indeed spreading in the city]. In particular, the quarter called “diplomatic” [Ed. upper-class neighbourhood, but not the city’s diplomatic enclave]. They say that they have Kalashnikovs [AK-47s], grenades and that they’ve even stolen an armoured vehicle/car.

Community self-defence groups are beginning to form. And they’re also armed…

I live in the centre of town, and I’m really scared.

 

After the looting

Photo : Anton Kirsanov. Bishkek, April 7.

Photo : diesel.elcat.kg. Bishkek, April 7.

Photo : diesel.elcat.kg. Bishkek, April 7.

Photo : Anton Kirsanov. Bishkek, April 7.

Demonstrators fight with police

Bishkek, April 7.