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Kyrgyzstan

One dead, 60 wounded in Kyrgyzstan clashes

Reuters

One person was killed and over 60 wounded in clashes in Kyrgyzstan Friday as the interim government regained control of official buildings seized by supporters of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

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In the cities of Osh and Jalalabad, hundreds of Bakiyev supporters used sticks and stones to battle with government supporters, who fired back with guns.

At least 20 people were hospitalised in Jalalabad, some with gunshot wounds and others injured by stones or other objects, said the regional hospital's chief doctor Abdy Shamshiyev.

According to local media, the government regained control of an administration building in Osh. The governor himself had re-entered the building with hundreds of supporters, the reports add.

But the Bakiyev supporters still appeared to control the equivalent building in Jalalabad.  Protesters loyal to Bakiyev on Thursday peacefully seized regional administration buildings in Jalalabad and the town of Batken. They also occupied the airports in Osh and Jalalabad.

The interim government, which took power after Bakiyev was ousted in an uprising last month, has so far avoided using security forces against protesters in a bid not to inflame tensions.

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“This government did not have a tremendous amount of credibility when it came in, though people viewed it as better than the other [Bakiyev] one," says Paul Quinn Judge of the International Group. "The last five weeks, as far as many people in the streets are concerned, they’ve wasted their time and it looks as if they’re much more interested in working out who was going to run for the presidency six months from now.”

Omurbek Tekebayev, a leading member of the interim government, accused Bakiyev of being behind the unrest and wanting to ignite an inter-ethnic conflict in the country.

Another top interim government official, Azimbek Beknazarov, said there was information that Bakiyev supporters were planning mass protests against the authorities on 17 May.

Bakiyev himself came to power in the so-called Tulip Revolution of 2005 which ousted the previous president Askar Akayev.  Bakiyev became increasingly unpopular amid allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
 

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