Confirmed: Kyrgyzstan prime minister suffered poisoning

Almazbek Atambayev said he received death threats connected with gov't decision to nationalize a giant semiconductors plant in the central Jalalabad region

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May 30, 2007 11:35

 
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The prime minister of the turbulent ex-Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan was poisoned with an unknown toxin, the presidential medical department said, confirming his earlier claim that he nearly died of poisoning amid an economic dispute. Almazbek Atambayev was diagnosed with an "acute toxic hepatitis of unknown origin," a statement said Tuesday. Last week, Atambayev said he fell unconscious for two days after drinking a cup of water which he alleged was poisoned by "some government official" at his office on May 11 and had to undergo an extensive detoxification procedure. Atambayev said earlier he received death threats connected with the government's recent decision to nationalize a giant semiconductors plant in the central Jalalabad region. The Soviet-built Krystall plant that produces silicon for computer hardware was turned into a government-controlled joint-stock company in the mid-1990s and was seized by the government in April after a failed attempt to auction it. Atambayev supported the plant's nationalization, promising to turn it into the "Kyrgyz Silicon Valley." The impoverished Central Asian state has been roiled by political instability, economic problems and deteriorating public security after the March 2005 ouster of longtime President Askar Akayev.

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