Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Saturday, September 4, 1999 Published at 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Kyrgyz forces root out rebels

Government troops are still trying to flush out 400 rebels

The Kyrgyzstan Government says its troops have launched an offensive against rebels who crossed into its territory from Tajikistan two weeks ago.

The BBC's Louise Hidalgo on the Kyrgyz struggle against the rebels
Presidential security adviser Bolot Dzhanuzakov said a group of more than 100 gunmen had been driven out of the Chon-Alai region and back into Tajikistan.

There was no independent confirmation of whether the Chon-Alai region had been fully cleared of the gunmen, or on any casualties.

Kyrgyz forces were reported to have launched their offensive on Saturday morning on the Bok-Bash crossing.

Mr Dzhanuzakov said that further west in the Batken region, rebels had left the villages of Zardaly and Korgon and moved up into the mountains.

Click here for a map of the area

"The situation is gradually turning into one where we have fully dealt with the fighters," he said.

However some 400 rebels remain in Kyrgyzstan, along with 13 hostages - including four Japanese geologists.

The rebels, from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, have demanded safe passage from southern Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan, against which they have announced a "holy war".

[ image: The Kyrgyz military is having to scour often inhospitable terrain]
The Kyrgyz military is having to scour often inhospitable terrain
The gunmen said the hostages would only be freed if Uzbekistan released thousands of political prisoners from its jails.

"From now on they and future hostages will be freed only when around 50,000 Muslims, thrown behind bars in camps in Uzbekistan, are released," a rebel statement said.

The guerrillas crossed into Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan a fortnight ago - kidnapping the Japanese scientists and several locals and engaging in sporadic battles with Kyrgyz forces.

The rebels say their fight is not with the local Kyrgyz people, although thousands have fled the area.

Mr Dzhanuzakov said Kyrgyzstan would not submit to the demands of the gunmen, whom he branded "international terrorists".

"No-one ... has the right to make threats, demands," he said.

"Terrorists are criminals. The Kyrgyz Government will never submit to the ultimatums and demands of these bandits," the presidential adviser warned.

[ image:  ]

Click here to return

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

01 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
More Kyrgyz hostages released

30 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Air strikes suspended after three die

29 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Kyrgyz leader appeals for calm

28 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Central Asian neighbours unite against rebels

26 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Hostage rescue operation in Kyrgyzstan

25 Aug 99 | Europe
Analysis: The threat from Islamic militancy

25 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Kyrgyz troops move against guerrillas

17 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Central Asia's enduring quarrel

Internet Links

Kyrgyzstan via embassy in United States

Kyrgyzstan Online

CIA World Factbook: Kyrgyzstan

Uzbek Government

Russian Government

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques