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NightWatch 20100407 - Special Report

NightWatch

Special Report for 7 April 2010

Kyrgyzstan: After two days of increasingly violent protests over the high cost of fuel and electricity, protestors have seized government buildings in the major cities of northern Kyrgyzstan including Bishkek, the capital. The demonstrators also seized the government-owned TV station where opposition leader Omurbek Tekebayev has demanded the government resign. Tekebayev is a former speaker of Parliament.

Opposition leaders announced they are only willing to negotiate President Bakiyev's and the government's resignation. Former President Akayev, who was ousted by opposition protestors led by Bakiyev in 2005 in a similar flash uprising, also called for Bakiyev to resign.

The government declared a state of emergency earlier today but it appears to be unenforceable. During this Watch, protestors were reported to be occupying Parliament and in the Presidential residence, the "White House." The New York Times reported the opposition claims to be in control of the government.

President Bakiyev departed Bishkek by air, reportedly to Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan. Otherwise Manas airport is closed to traffic. At least 40 people have been killed and more than 400 injured in clashes with riot police in Bishkek, according to Health Ministry officials. There are no reports of casualties in outlying cities, primarily Talas, where the protests began early today.

US military personnel at Manas Air Base are reported safe. Russian military forces at Kant Air Base have increased security, but Russia announced that it will not intervene.

The red dots identify cities where protests have occurred.

End of NightWatch Special Report.

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