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Ousted Kyrgyz leader refuses to step down

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Ousted Kyrgyz leader refuses to step down


Supporters of Kyrgyzstan’s ousted leader are gathering in his home village of Teyit.

It comes less than a week after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the capital Bishkek amid violent protests which claimed around 80 lives.

Since then an interim government has seized control of the central Asian state, but Bakiyev is refusing to step down.

Addressing supporters at his first public appearence since being deposed, he warned that any attempt to arrest him would end in bloodshed.

Bakiyev fled Bishkek last Wednesday after a protest rally descended into chaos, culminating in troops opening fire on protesters.

Scores of people died and hundreds were injured, prompting the interim government to suggest that that it may try to prosecute him for the loss of life.

Kyrgyzstan’s instability is a concern for the west due to its strategic importance. The nation is home to a US air base which plays a pivotal role in the military campaign in Afghanistan.

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