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Kyrgyzstan urges UK to extradite ‘man behind deadly riots’

Kyrgyzstan's government is demanding that Britain extradite the man they say is responsible for stoking vicious riots in the south of the country that have killed hundreds in recent days.

Maxim Bakiyev, son of the country's deposed president, claimed asylum when he landed at Farnborough airport on Monday night.

Mr Bakiyev had an Interpol warrant out for him, and was detained by the UK Border Agency after he landed in a private, rented plane, say officials in Bishkek. The Home Office declined to comment.

His father, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was accused of corruption and nepotism, and fled after violent clashes killed dozens in Bishkek in April. He is now in Belarus.

The interim government took over after the April riots. It claims that forces loyal to the Bakiyevs provoked the ethnic violence in order to delegitimise the provisional government.

“It was a carefully planned operation conducted by the enemies of the interim government,” said Almazbek Atambayev, the government's first deputy head, in Bishkek yesterday.

“Its goal was to overthrow the new authorities of Kyrgyzstan and to thwart the referendum. The information available to our special services confirms that all of these measures were funded by the Bakiyev family, particularly Bakiyev's youngest son, Maxim.”

For now, these claims are impossible to verify, but information collected by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, corroborated the theory that the riots had been provoked.

“Several of these reports suggest that the incident began with five simultaneous attacks in Osh involving men wearing balaclavas and carrying guns. It looked like they were seeking to provoke a reaction”, said a spokesman for Ms Pillay, in Geneva yesterday

Violence in Osh spiralled to engulf much of southern Kyrgyzstan, with the primary victims mainly the sizeable ethnic Uzbek population of the region.

Officially, 176 people have been killed, though the Red Cross said yesterday the real figure was likely to be “several hundreds”, and sources in the country have suggested there could be in excess of 2,000 dead.

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