Kyrgyz protesters take over local govt HQ in south



Kyrgyz protesters take over local govt HQ in south Osh: Supporters of Kyrgyzstan's ousted leader took over the regional government headquarters in the southern city of Osh on Thursday, a report said.

Supporters of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was ousted in a revolt last month, scuffled with guards and entered the government building after holding a demonstration that drew about 1,000 people.

The Kyrgyz government responded by saying it would take unspecified measures to restore authority in the area.

Bakiyev fled last month to Belarus and an interim government claimed power in the Central Asian nation after protesters stormed government buildings in the capital Bishkek. At least 85 people were killed in clashes between protesters, some of them armed, and police who fired into crowds.

The interim government has struggled to stamp its authority across the impoverished, predominantly Muslim ex-Soviet republic, particularly in Bakiyev's southern power base.

On Wednesday, the interim government faced its first large public protest in the capital as hundreds of opponents -- many members of Bakiyev's Ak Zhol party and the allied Communists -- demonstrated against the dissolution of Parliament.

The United States and Russia have air bases in Kyrgyzstan. The US base at Manas airport is key to American efforts to supply forces fighting in nearby Afghanistan.

Moscow and Washington have both expressed support for the interim government, which has promised to hold new Parliamentary Elections in October.

Bureau Report