- The Washington Times - Friday, September 30, 2005

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (UPI) — The newspaper Vecherniy Bishkek reported this week that national lawmakers will be armed after gunmen in Kyrgyzstan killed Bayaman Erkinbayev, a member of parliament.

Mr. Erkinbayev was the second Kyrgyz parliament member killed since a popular uprising in March overthrew the regime of President Askar Akayev. Mr. Erkinbayev, 38, was fatally shot as he arrived by car at his home here in the Kyrgyz capital.

The young lawmaker was a wealthy businessman from Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan, where the anti-Akayev protests began. Mr. Erkinbayev’s death shocked his colleagues and parliament Speaker Omurbek Tekebaev predicted there would be at least 10 more assassinations.

Days before his death, Mr. Erkinbayev expressed concern about his family’s safety to Mr. Tekebaev, saying he was afraid for their lives and that unknown people had attacked his children. The parliament speaker told the lawmaker he could not protect him.

Security service representatives have promised to solve the crime.

To combat the rising lawlessness in the country, Mr. Tekebaev demanded that a new anti-crime agency be created, which the Kyrgyz parliament appears ready to support. Mr. Tekebaev said: “It should consist of a group of 30 professionals on high salaries and all the necessary equipment.”

Lawmakers have approved a draft resolution, stating that the investigations of the Interior Ministry, the National Security Service, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office to date have been unsatisfactory regarding the assassinations of legislators.

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