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Kyrgyzstan president quits, saying he doesn't want to shoot citizens

Convicted kidnapper emerges as contender to lead chaotic Central Asian country

Kyrgyzstan's President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, shown here after a vote at an Oct. 4 parliamentary election, resigned Oct. 15.   © Reuters

BISHKEK -- Following 10 days of turbulence in Kyrgyzstan in the aftermath of a botched election, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov unexpectedly announced his resignation on Thursday.

"I am not clinging to power," Jeenbekov said in an address to the nation as, by the president's own admission, Kyrgyzstan teetered on the brink of violence. "I do not want to go down in the history of Kyrgyzstan as the president who shed blood and shot his own citizens."

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