Kyrgyzstan: Opposition politician takes over interior ministry, pres. ‘in control’

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Kyrgyz opposition politician and former senior security official Kursan Asanov has taken over as acting interior minister, a ministry spokesman said on Tuesday, indicating President Sooronbai Jeenbekov could be losing control over the country.

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Police have been ordered to ensure citizens’ safety and prevent clashes and looting amid protests, the spokesman said, adding that incumbent Interior Minister Kashkar Junushaliyev has not shown up for work on Tuesday.

Kyrgyzstan's pro-Russian president insisted he was in control of the country Tuesday despite protesters capturing the seat of government and freeing his predecessor and nemesis following violent clashes with police.

Sooronbay Jeenbekov’s office said in a statement that the president was “in control of the situation and expresses confidence that all political forces will put the interests of the country above their own.”

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