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Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs Reveals Cause of Brawl Leading to Bishkek Unrest

The Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Internal Affairs has provided insights into the altercation involving foreign nationals and outlined the sequence of events that led to unrest in Bishkek from May 17 to 18.

It began with a confrontation between a group of unidentified individuals and foreign students around 2:00 am on May 13 near a pizzeria in Bishkek. The disagreement escalated when the group demanded cigarettes, leading to a quarrel over smoking in the area. Subsequently, one individual attempted to initiate a fight, prompting the foreigners to flee to a hostel on Ogonbaev Street.

Following them, the group forcibly entered the hostel, assaulting the foreigners and robbing them of their money and possessions. The situation worsened when four individuals forcibly entered a girls’ room, causing a commotion. In response, the foreigners emerged to defend themselves, resulting in a brawl. Three attackers fled the scene, leaving one behind, who later left the hospital without disclosing his identity after receiving medical treatment.

The entire incident was captured by security cameras, leading to an investigation into the group’s hooliganism. Four foreign nationals were apprehended in connection with the criminal inquiry, with three reporting thefts amounting to $1,250 and an iPhone 15 Pro Max. The police are actively pursuing the whereabouts of the identified individuals and seeking to identify others involved.

Two days later, a video of the hostel altercation surfaced on social media platforms, sparking public outcry and mass discontent due to the misrepresentation of the incident’s context. This misinformation fueled further unrest, culminating in a gathering of 500-700 individuals at the intersection of Chui Prospekt and Kurmanjan Datka Street on May 18. They demanded accountability from law enforcement agencies regarding the hostel altercation.

However, during the night, third parties exploited the situation to spread false information through messaging platforms, falsely claiming casualties and fatalities among citizens. The ministry clarified that these reports were baseless and did not reflect reality.

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