Kyrgyz Special Forces stormed the compound of former president Almazbek Atambayev yesterday and clashed with his supporters, his representative said, as the authorities apparently moved to prosecute the ex-leader on corruption charges after stripping him of immunity as Daily Sabah was going to print. "This evening special forces attacked Atambayev's supporters... They opened fire, about 10 people are injured," a representative of Atambayev's staff, Guliza Chodubayeva, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
A statement by Kyrgyzstan's national security committee (GKNB) said the committee's Special Forces are engaging in a "special operation to detain former president Almazbek Atambayev."
Prosecutors accuse the former president of making illegal land purchases and corruption, but the defiant Atambayev has gathered supporters at his estate of Koi-Tash outside Bishkek and stepped up security in recent weeks. Following the decision by lawmakers to lift his immunity in June, the ex-leader said he would "stand to the end" against the charges, calling the current administration of President Sooronbai Jeenbekov a "mafia clan."
The Central Asian nation's parliament in June rescinded the autonomy that Atambayev was accorded as former president of the country. He is accused of a range of crimes including corruption and expropriation of property. Atambayev, who was in office from 2011 to 2017, says the charges have been concocted by President Jeenbekov, who was once his protégé.