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Blood on the streets in Kyrgyzstan revolt

Norman Hermant, ABC News (Australia)
here are reports the government of the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan has been overthrown after a day of bloodshed and amid reports that key regime officials have been killed, taken hostage or fled the country.

Opposition leaders say the government has resigned after more than 100 people were killed in running battles with security forces who opened fire on crowds with machine guns.

In other cities, government buildings were overrun and riot police fled.

Kyrgyzstan’s president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has fled the capital Bishkek.
(7 April 2010)

Upheaval in Kyrgyzstan as Leader Flees

Clifford J. Levy, New York Times
Large-scale protests appeared to overthrow the government of Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday and its president fled before an outbreak of mayhem and violence in the capital of Bishkek and elsewhere in the country, an important Amerian ally in Central Asia. Government officials said at least 41 people had been killed in fighting between riot police officers and demonstrators.

… Tensions had been growing in Kyrgyzstan over what human rights groups contended were the increasingly repressive policies of President Bakiyev, but it appeared that the immediate catalyst for the violence was anger over a reported quadrupling in the prices for utilities.
(7 April 2010)

Kyrgyzstan at the hub of superpowers’ plans

Nick Childs, BBC
Reports of violence in the capital of Kyrgyzstan have prompted the US embassy there to express deep concern, and the Russian government to call for restraint.

These reactions help underline the strategic significance of Kyrgyzstan and the region it occupies.

Kyrgyzstan has found itself in the cockpit of what has been dubbed the new “great game” in the region – so-called because the modern big powers jostling for influence there appear reminiscent of the 19th Century contest between the British and Russian empires over access to India.

It has been a scramble for access to energy and other natural resources, trade routes, and more recently Western supply routes for operations in Afghanistan.
(7 April 2010)

Bloodshed on streets of Kyrgyzstan as government cracks down on protesters

Luke Harding, Guardian
Kyrgyzstan was today in the grip of a violent revolution, after a chaotic day in which riot police shot dead at least 21 people and protesters attempted to storm the main government building in the capital, Bishkek.

Demonstrators who had earlier looted weapons and stolen an armoured personnel carrier were in control of several key buildings including the parliament and TV station. Officials repulsed an attack on the national security service’s HQ. The prosecutor’s office was on fire.

With gunfire and explosions echoing across the city, opposition activists claimed 100 people had been killed by security officials and 180 injured. The protesters had been trying to take control of the main government building occupied by Kyrgyzstan’s president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. They are demanding his immediate resignation.
(7 April 2010)