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Kyrgyz man halts main airport with 'bomb' claim

01 November 2016, 12:56

Bishkek - Kyrgyzstan's security service said Tuesday that a drunk man who halted operations at the country's main airport with a false bomb scare was trying to stop his wife from leaving for Moscow.

Ilya Eremeev, 30, phoned emergency services Monday and said there was a bomb on a plane "to prevent his wife leaving" for the Russian capital on a work trip, it said.

Security services evacuated the ex-Soviet country's main Manas airport outside the capital Bishkek on Monday evening and several flights were cancelled before the security alert was lifted.

The national security agency offered no further information on Eremeev's motives but noted he was "in a drunken state" when detained.

Eremeev is being held and investigated for providing false information about an act of terrorism, an act punishable by up to three years in prison.

The bomb scare came as Bishkek prepares to host a gathering of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Wednesday which Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend.

Kyrgyzstan, a poor country of six million is the most democratic in Muslim-majority Central Asia.

But it has endured several bouts of instability over the course of its 25-year independence from the Soviet Union, with a bloody revolution and inter-ethnic violence costing hundreds of lives in 2010.

- AFP

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