Kyrgyzstan’s former president was released from jail Tuesday by anti-government protesters who seized the seat of government before forcing their way into the national security committee building where his jail cell was located.
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BISHKEK • Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned yesterday after days of unrest following a disputed election, saying he wanted to prevent clashes between security forces and protesters who have demanded his removal from office. He becomes the third president of the small Central Asian nation since 2005 to be toppled in a popular uprising. Kyrgyzstan, a Russian ally that borders China, has been in turmoil since the Oct 4 parliamentary election, which the opposition rejected after Mr Jeenbekov's allies were declared the winners. In a statement, Mr Jeenbekov said he feared violence might break out if protesters carry out a threat to march on his compound. "The military and security forces will be obliged to use their weapons to protect the state residence. Blood will be inevitably shed. I urge both sides not to fall for provocations," he said. "I do not want to go down in Kyrgyzstan's history as a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens." After the election, opposition supporters took to the streets and seized government buildings, prompting the authorities to annul the vote. Mr Jeenbekov announced last week that he would resign,