Beaten Kazakh Tourist Dies In Kyrgyz Hospital

August 15, 2011
BISHKEK -- A Kazakh tourist who was robbed and severely beaten near Kyrgyzstan's Lake Issyk-Kul has died in Bishkek while undergoing surgery, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Health Ministry spokesman Shabdan Ryskulov told RFE/RL that Erlan Balmakhaev's body was given to his relatives, who transported it to Kazakhstan on August 14 for burial.
Interior Ministry officials told RFE/RL that Balmakhaev's attackers have not yet been found.
Balmakhaev, 32, was severely beaten by a group of men on August 7. He was hospitalized but fell into a coma and underwent brain surgery in a clinic in the resort town of Cholpon-Ata.
Following consultations between Kyrgyz and visiting Kazakh doctors, Balmakhaev was transported to a hospital in Bishkek on August 13. He died of cardiac arrest on August 14 while undergoing a second brain operation.
On August 10, Interior Ministry spokesman Rakhmatillo Akhmedov told RFE/RL that 129 attacks on foreigners were registered in Kyrgyzstan during the first six months of this year. The total number for 2010 was 100.
President Roza Otunbaeva told Interior Minister Zarylbek Rysaliev last week to personally monitor the investigation into Balmakhaev's case.
Most of the foreign tourists who visit Issyk-Kul are from Kazakhstan.