Nationalist Kyrgyz leader on trial for coup bid

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul speak during a summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (CCTS) in the Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek, on August 23, 2012. AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO

BISHKEK: Some 100 supporters gathered outside a court in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, where a firebrand nationalist leader accused of seeking the overthrow of the government went on trial.

Kamchibek Tashiyev was arrested in October after leading a charge of dozens of people trying to seize a building housing parliament and government offices.

The disturbances arose from a rally demanding nationalization of an economically vital gold mine.

Two Tashiyev allies, Sadyr Zhaparov and Talant Mamytov, are also on trial facing related charges.

His supporters outside the court in Bishkek were calling Thursday for Tashiyev to be freed.

Kyrgyzstan, a country of 5 million people on China's mountainous western border, hosts a U.S. air base used to support military operations in Afghanistan.





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