Kyrgyzstan’s former president, Almazbek Atambayev who was detained after raids were carried out on his compound last week was allegedly seeking to overthrow the government in power. 

The head of the country’s security services, Orozbek Opumbayev on Tuesday said it was official that the 62-year-old Atambayev intended to stage a coup.

“His intention was a state coup. I say that officially,” Opumbayev, head of the National Security Services (GKNB) told a news conference in Bishkek, the country’s capital.

Atambayev was detained after a massive security operation on Thursday after a previous attempt to detain him a day earlier failed amid clashes between his supporters and law enforcement agents.

The raids came after Atambayev had ignored three police summons in connection with the release of a well-known underworld figure when he was president.

The Central Asian state, which has seen two revolutions in less than two decades is caught in a standoff between the former leader and his protege-turned-foe, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Jeenbekov and Atambayev were once friends and the former leader backed the incumbent in the 2017 election, triggering accusations that administrative resources were used to sway the vote.

That election marked an unprecedented peaceful transfer of power between heads of state in the ex-Soviet Muslim-majority nation of about six million people.,

The current crisis has drawn in Russia, the country’s Soviet-era master and traditional political patron where hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyzstan nationals work as migrant labourers.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with both Jeenbekov and Atambayev in Moscow in a bid to defuse the growing tensions.