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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kyrgyz Police Detain Dozens Protesting Disputed Election

ReutersPolice carrying away an opposition supporter in Bishkek on Wednesday.

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Police in Kyrgyzstan detained dozens of opposition activists on Wednesday after they staged two marches in protest of last week’s presidential election.

Regional powers are worried opposition anger over the disputed July 23 vote could spill over into broader unrest.

Official results gave incumbent President Kurmanbek Bakiyev 76 percent of the vote. Opposition challenger Almazbek Atambayev got 8 percent and said the election was fraudulent.

Waving flags and shouting “Justice!” 50 protesters marched through Bishkek but were swiftly intercepted by the police who blocked their path and snatched their banners.

After a scuffle, police detained most of the protesters.

“[The activists] broke public security rules,” Gulya Kozhokulova, a district prosecutor, told reporters. “Police acted in line with the law.”

In a separate scuffle, police dispersed a group of activists who had gathered on the outskirts of Bishkek and started marching toward the center.

“Some 20 men were detained for violating public order,” Deputy Interior Minister Sabyrbek Kurmanaliyev said.

The opposition said it would stage more protests across the Muslim nation ahead of an informal summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Kyrgyzstan on Friday, due to be attended by President Dmitry Medvedev.

Speaking outside his party headquarters in Bishkek, Atambayev told a crowd of about 100 supporters that he would personally lead a march on Thursday to the town of Balykchi.