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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 05:36 GMT 06:36 UK
Gunmen kill Kyrgyzstan politician
Kyrgyz lawmaker Bayaman Erkinbayev, April 29, 2005
The controversial businessman had been attacked in April
Gunmen in Kyrgyzstan have killed an MP who was a driving force behind the protests in March which led to the overthrow of President Askar Akayev.

Bayaman Erkinbayev was shot in the neck and chest as he arrived by car at his home in the capital, Bishkek.

Mr Erkinbayev, 38, was a wealthy businessman in southern Kyrgyzstan, where the anti-Akayev protests began.

He is the second parliamentary deputy to be killed since the popular uprising earlier this year.

The country has seen continuing political instability since then.

Map of Kyrgyzstan
22 September: Politician and businessman Bayaman Erkinbayev shot dead
13 June: Security guards open fire on protesters in Osh, injuring at least seven
10 June: Politician Jyrgalbek Surabaldiyev shot dead in Bishkek
1 June: Hundreds eject protesters from Supreme Court which they had held for more than a month

According to a BBC correspondent in the region, Mr Erkinbayev was a former wrestler who owned a number of shops and hotels around the southern town of Osh. He was widely rumoured to be associated with the criminal world, our correspondent says.

In recent months, Mr Erkinbayev had been involved in a murky and sometimes violent dispute over control of a lucrative regional market, one of the largest in the unstable Ferghana Valley region around Osh.

In April, he escaped what he termed an attempt on his life, when he was shot and wounded in the face in Bishkek.

It is unclear whether the motivation for that attack was political - at the time, he had announced plans to run for president - or linked to his business interests.

In June, security guards in Osh opened fire on hundreds of protesters demonstrating against Mr Erkinbayev, whom they said has a heavy influence on small businesses in the region.

It was the biggest public protest since Mr Akayev was driven into exile.

Kurmanbek Bakiev was elected president in July.

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