There have been more signs of dissent in Kyrgyzstan’s troubled south, against the former Soviet Republic’s interim government.
“We want our mayor back” shouted one woman, in a crowd of hundreds who protested in Osh, the country’s second city, following rumours that he had been fired from his post.
That was denied in the capital, Bishkek.
The new government has struggled to impose its authority in the south since the former president was deposed in a revolt in April.
One protester said that unless the voices of local people were heard, they would boycott upcoming elections. October’s vote is aimed at creating Central Asia’s first parliamentary democracy.
In June, tension turned into the worst bloodshed in the country’s modern history. Nearly 400 people were killed and many minority ethnic Uzbeks fled to neighbouring Uzbekistan.
Kyrgyzstan’s government is said to be seeking military hardware from abroad to maintain order in the south.
Both the US and Russian have military bases in the country.