Several anti-government protesters were injured during demonstrations in the capital Bishkek against the results of disputed parliamentary elections.
Kyrgyzstan's former president has been released from jail by anti-government protesters who seized the seat of government before forcing their way into the national security committee building where his jail cell was located.
Adil Turdukuov, an activist and ally of ex-Kyrgyz leader Almazbek Atambayev, said told AFP early on Tuesday the protesters freed Atambayev "without force or use of any weapons" and noted that national security officials had not made any attempt at resistance.
Earlier, local media reported that anti-government protesters seized the building housing the country's parliament and presidential administration, after demonstrations over a disputed parliamentary election.
Photos published by Radio Free Europe's Kyrgyz service showed on early Tuesday protesters walking around the country's main house of government.
Several local media outlets also reported the seizure.
Earlier, Kyrgyz police used teargas and water cannon to disperse thousands of people demonstrating against the result of a parliamentary election, after some protesters tried to break into the government headquarters.
At least 17 people including an opposition leader were injured in clashes with police in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek.
Opposition supporters took to the streets and called on President Sooronbai Jeenbekov to resign on Monday after more than 10 political parties said they had been muscled out of the legislature during Sunday's election amid widespread claims of vote-buying.
Supporters of several parties that failed to win any seats, according to preliminary results, had rallied in the central square to denounce the vote as fraudulent. They said more people were heading to Bishkek to join the protests.
Some of them then tried to break the gates leading to a building housing both the president and parliament, which overlooks the square, at which point the police started dispersing the rally.
The health ministry said in a statement that 16 people were receiving treatment in Bishkek hospitals.
Separately, opposition leader and lawmaker Janar Akayev sustained an injury to his leg from a rubber bullet, his Ata-Meken party said.
Party member Elvira Surabaldiyeva told AFP that they had no role in the attempt on the government building and blamed it on "provocateurs".
"Our party will stand with the people to the end," she said.
Egor Borisov, a doctor who was at the forefront of the city's coronavirus response, said that unidentified men had "attacked two ambulance teams," damaging their vehicles with stones close to the scene of the rally.
READ MORE: OPINION - Kyrgyzstan votes for status quo
More than 100 injured!! https://t.co/jetMwh34Vp— Bruce Pannier (@BrucePannier) October 5, 2020
Protestors have seized control of a fire truck. https://t.co/nr8psVaZUM— Christopher Schwartz (@schwartztronica) October 5, 2020
Fear of looting
Eyewitnesses told AFP that shop owners in the vicinity of the protest had begun removing goods from their stores in anticipation of possible looting.
Looting was a feature in two popular uprisings that overthrew authoritarian presidents in 2005 and 2010, but the former Soviet country has enjoyed relative stability for the last decade.
Dissatisfaction with corruption and the domination of politics by powerful clans has increased with the economic challenges of the coronavirus fallout.
Another video showing shock grenades used against the protestors. pic.twitter.com/bWRHenikBn— Christopher Schwartz (@schwartztronica) October 5, 2020
Popular figures take part
Around 5,000 supporters gathered earlier Monday in the main Ala-Too square in the centre of the city to protest initial results that showed disappointing results for opposition and nationalist parties.
Popular singers joined politicians in addressing the crowd, who responded with chants of "Jeenbekov out".
"The president promised to oversee honest elections. He didn't keep his word," one opposition candidate, Ryskeldi Mombekov, told the crowd, calling on election officials to cancel the vote "in the next 24 hours".
The preliminary count showed two pro-presidency parties, Birimdik and Mekenim Kyrgyzstan, who both favour deeper integration with Moscow, scooping a quarter of the vote each.
Birimdik includes the president's younger brother Asylbek Jeenbekov, while Mekenim Kyrgyzstan is seen by critics as a vehicle for the interests of a powerful clan.
The clan's figurehead Rayimbek Matraimov is a former customs service official who was the target of anti-corruption protests last year.
Moscow's dominant strategic position in Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked country bordering China, was not seen as being under threat regardless of the outcome of the vote.
Russia has a military base in the country and is a destination for hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz migrants.