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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 October 2005, 20:43 GMT 21:43 UK
Kyrgyz PM faces resignation calls
Protesters at Bishkek central square
Protesters say Kulov must shoulder the responsibility
Protesters in Kyrgyzstan have demanded the resignation of the prime minister two days after an MP was killed by inmates during a prison visit.

Tynchbek Akmatbayev and two aides were shot after being taken hostage in jail.

PM Felix Kulov said the protesters were behaving illegally. There are "certain forces consciously trying to destroy our statehood," he told reporters.

"If the president and parliament find reasons for my resignation, I won't object," Mr Kulov said.

20 October: MP Tynchbek Akmatbayev and two aides shot dead during prison visit
22 September: MP and businessman Bayaman Erkinbayev shot dead
13 June: Security guards open fire on protesters in Osh, injuring at least seven
10 June: MP Jyrgalbek Surabaldiyev shot dead in Bishkek
1 June: Hundreds eject protesters from Supreme Court which they had held for more than a month

There are more than 30 prisons in Kyrgyzstan affected by the ruling, with nearly 20,000 inmates.

There have been frequent reports of bad living conditions in Kyrgyz prisons, and several protests have taken place inside jails in recent months.

Akmatbayev and his aides were shot dead after being taken hostage during a visit to Moldavanovka prison, about 25km (15 miles) outside the capital, Bishkek.

The incident happened while the politician and his entourage were in the tuberculosis hospital attached to the prison, on a visit to assess living conditions.

The others who died are said to have been members of Akmatbayev's entourage. Prison service head Imatulla Polotov was also severely beaten by the inmates and is in serious condition.

The killer was later identified and turned over to the authorities by inmates, according to Russian news agencies.

Prime Minister Felix Kulov
PM Felix Kulov believes the protests are politically-motivated

The deaths came after two days of unrest at nearby Novopokrovka prison. Inmates there had been protesting about bad food, damp accommodation, inadequate clothing and a lack of hot water.

Akmatbayev was chairman of a parliamentary committee on security and policing, and had been involved in negotiations with prisoners at Novopokrovka.

Kyrgyzstan has witnessed several violent incidents since the overthrow of ex-President Askar Akayev in March.

Akmatbayev is the third member of parliament to meet a violent death. Two other deputies were shot dead in killings that may have been related to business rivalries.

Country profile: Kyrgyzstan
19 Oct 05 |  Country profiles
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Gunmen kill Kyrgyzstan politician
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Bakiev sworn in as Kyrgyz leader
14 Aug 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Protesters clash at Kyrgyz court
01 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Akayev quits as Kyrgyz president
04 Apr 05 |  Asia-Pacific


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