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Ten dead after Kyrgyzstan poll protests

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Ten dead after Kyrgyzstan poll protests


As many as 10 people may have been killed in clashes between police and opposition activists in southern Kyrgyzstan.

A police source reportedly said the deaths happened as officers fought for control of government buildings in the latest in a string of protests over the recent disputed parliamentary elections. Officers recaptured the buildings in the ex Soviet state’s second city Osh and Jalal-Abad after demonstrators held them for two days. They are demanding the resignation of President Askar Akayev. Some 200 people have been arrested. Opposition supporters in the central Asian country have been inspired by last year’s peaceful Orange Revolution in Ukraine, when the status quo was overthrown after a fraudulent poll and weeks of protests. Akayev has pledged to stand down as head of state as required by the constitution at the end of his final term later this year. But some fear he could use his parliamentary majority to change the law and stand for another term. Monitors from the OSCE criticised the poll over vote buying, disqualification of opposition candidates and media manipulation.
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