Interior minister, 19 others killed in riots | world | Hindustan Times
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Interior minister, 19 others killed in riots

Opposition followers killed Kyrgyzstan’s interior minister, took the deputy prime minister hostage and captured state television in a deadly revolt on Wednesday against President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

world Updated: Apr 08, 2010 00:02 IST

Opposition followers killed Kyrgyzstan’s interior minister, took the deputy prime minister hostage and captured state television in a deadly revolt on Wednesday against President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades in repeated efforts to disperse thousands of protesters surrounding Bakiyev’s offices in the capital Bishkek, but retreated as demonstrators tried to ram the gates with an armoured vehicle.

A police source said that at least 19 people had been killed while AFP reporters saw six bodies being carried out of the square near the presidential headquarters in Bishkek.

In a desperate bid to contain the unrest, Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov declared a state of emergency. But shortly after the announcement, opposition protesters stormed the Kyrgyz television centre, forcing a halt to all programmes, in a dramatic sign that the government was fast losing its grip.

A source in the office of Interior Minister Moldomus Kongantiyev then revealed that he had been killed in riots in the northwest hub of Talas where the first protests had erupted.

Kongantiyev had been attacked by protestors in Talas who had also taken deputy prime minister Akylbek Zhaparov captive, the Kabar Kyrgyz state news agency reported.