Police Storm Former Kyrgyz President’s Home to Try Arrest Him, 1 Dead, 35 Injured

August 7, 2019 Updated: August 7, 2019

MOSCOW—Gunfire was heard outside the residence of the former president of Kyrgyzstan as police moved in to try to arrest him.

Kyrgyzstan’s Health Ministry says a serviceman died during an operation to arrest the country’s ex-president on Aug. 7.

In a statement reported by the Central Asian country’s official news agency, the ministry said the special forces member had been shot.

Kyrgyz special forces
Kyrgyz special forces stand in guard at former president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev’s residence in the village of Koi-Tash, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the capital, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Aug. 7, 2019. (AKIpress via AP)

The ministry said early Thursday that 35 other people have been injured.

Special forces moved in to arrest former president Almazbek Atambayev on corruption charges at his residence south of the Kyrgyz capital.

Warning: Video may be disturbing to some readers.

The Central Asian nation’s parliament in June rescinded the autonomy that Almazbek Atambayev was accorded as former president of the country.

Atambayev, 62, has taken part in two violent revolts which overthrew his predecessors in 2005 and 2010.

He is accused of a range of crimes including corruption and expropriation of property.

Former President Almazbek Atambayev 1
Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev (2L) walks with supporters outside his residence in the village of Koi-Tash near the capital Bishkek on June 26, 2019. (Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty Images)

Atambayev, who was in office from 2011 to 2017, says the charges have been concocted by President Soorobai Jeenbekov.

Jeenbekov, who came to power in 2017 with Atambayev’s support and used to be his close ally, sidelined his predecessor in 2018 by reshuffling senior security officials and wresting control over the ruling party out of Atambayev’s hands.

An escalation of the conflict between the two could be of concern to Russia which has a military airbase in the former Soviet republic and counts it among its closest political allies.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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