Central Asia Theater
The world is paying little note, but there is a popular uprising underway following contested elections in Kyrgyzstan, a key US ally in Central Asia. On March 20, protesters rallying against President Askar Akayev burned down police headquarters in the southern city of Jalal-Abad, in response to a pre-dawn action by special police units who briefly took back control of a regional administration office that had been occupied by opposition activists since early March.
Uighur businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer, freed from a Chinese prison in an apparent deal with Washington, arrived in Chicago March 17, rejoicing at her unexpected release and vowing to work "for the entire Uighur nation."
Assailants threw a grenade into the empty apartment of a prominent Kyrgyz opposition leader March 3, causing no casualties, in an attack both opposition and authorities accused each other of staging.