Kyrgyzstan in crisis
The opposition in Kyrgyzstan says it is setting up a “people’s government” after deadly clashes left dozens dead.
An opposition leader and former foreign minister, Roza Otunbayeva, told the BBC that new defence and interior ministers had been appointed.
The whereabouts of President Bakiyev are not clear but reports say that he has flown out of the capital, Bishkek.
Protests at rising prices, corruption and the arrest of opposition leaders had erupted in three cities.
Ms Otunbayeva said the interim government would remain in power for six months and draw up a new constitution.
Kyrgyzstan is a strategically important Central Asian state and houses a key US military base that supplies forces in Afghanistan. Russia also has a base there.
Ms Otunbayeva said these military bases could continue as before.
The United States said it deplored the violence and urged “respect for the rule of law”. It also said it believed the government was still in control.
Russian PM Vladimir Putin denied that Moscow had played any role in the unrest, saying it was a “domestic affair” and that there should be “restraint”.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the protests showed the “outrage at the existing regime”.
A spokesman for Ban Ki-moon said the UN secretary general was “shocked by the reported deaths and injuries that have occurred today in Kyrgyzstan. He urgently appeals for dialogue and calm to avoid further bloodshed”.
Gunfire is continuing into the night in Bishkek with shops set alight.
The BBC’s Rayhan Demytrie in Bishkek says there is widespread looting, with hundreds of protesters moving from one store to another.
The Kyrgyz health ministry said 40 people had died in the clashes and more than 400 were injured.
But the opposition says that is far too low. In a broadcast on a TV channel it took over, spokesman Omurbek Tekebayev said at least 100 demonstrators had been killed.
The opposition used its channel to say that it was setting up a government that would be headed by former foreign minister, Rosa Otunbayeva.
Ms Otunbayeva said in a broadcast: “Power is now in the hands of the people’s government. Responsible people have been appointed and are already working to normalise the situation.”
The Associated Press news agency reported that an opposition leader had taken over the National Security Agency, the successor to the Soviet KGB.
But Galina Skripkina, of the opposition Social-Democratic Party, told Reuters news agency that the president had not yet resigned.
“He must… formally submit his resignation to parliament so we can appoint a caretaker government,” she said.
Reuters also quoted the Kyrgyz border control as saying the frontier with Kazakhstan had been closed.
Agence France-Presse says the US has suspended military flights at its base in Kyrgyzstan.
Consolidating their victory after a bloody uprising, opposition leaders declared Thursday they would hold power in Kyrgyzstan for six months and assured the U.S. it can keep a strategic air base here — at least for now.
There were signs of instability, though, as deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev refused to relinquish power after the revolt, which left at least 75 people dead and hundreds wounded. As he spoke, gunfire broke out after nightfall in the capital, Bishkek.
With darkness descending, roving bands of armed marauders trawled the streets of the capital, despite warnings from the opposition leadership that looters would be shot.
Crowds gathering at the ransacked government headquarters earlier in the day angrily shouted anti-Bakiyev slogans. Still, the mood was subdued as residents came to terms with the scale of the violence unleashed against the mostly unarmed protesters by government troops a day earlier.
Newly appointed Kyrgyz security officials warned they would use every means to restore calm and bring an end to the nighttime lawlessness that terrorized Bishkek after Wednesday’s clashes.
The former Soviet nation is home to a key U.S. military base supporting the fighting in Afghanistan that opposition figures have in the past said they wanted to see shut down. Kyrgyzstan also hosts a Russian military base and is the only nation where both Cold War foes have bases.
Roza Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister now heading the interim government, said there were no plans yet to review the lease agreement for the Manas air base, which runs out in July. She said her government would meet U.S. diplomats for talks in Bishkek.
will seel we more of this..i think so..who is behind it though?
it could be russian it could be american..both have lots to gain by having “control” of this country..or is this another pseudo war ?
this the home of the tulip revolution..