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Kyrgyz police use teargas, water cannon to disperse protest

This content was published on October 5, 2020 - 16:35

BISHKEK (Reuters) - Kyrgyz police used teargas and water cannon to disperse thousands of people demonstrating on Monday against the result of a parliamentary election, after some protesters tried to break into the government headquarters.

Gunshots and stun grenades could be heard as riot police with dogs, backed by several vehicles, moved into the central square in the capital Bishkek and protesters retreated.

Supporters of several parties that failed, according to preliminary results, to win any seats had rallied in the central square, denouncing the vote as fraudulent.

Some of them then tried to break the gates leading to a building housing both the president and parliament, which overlooks the square, at which point police started dispersing the rally.

Two establishment parties supporting closer links between the former Soviet republic and Russia looked set to dominate the parliament after Sunday's vote.

The Central Asian country of 6.5 million people has a history of political turmoil - in the past 15 years, two presidents have been toppled by revolts and a third is in prison after falling out with his successor.

(Reporting by Vladimir Pirogov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Alex Richardson)

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