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Archive for Friday, April 9, 2010

Opposition says it will rule for 6 months

April 9, 2010

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— Consolidating their victory after a bloody uprising, opposition leaders declared Thursday they would hold power in Kyrgyzstan for six months and assured the U.S. it can keep a strategic air base here — at least for now.

There were signs of instability, though, as deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev refused to relinquish power after the revolt, which left at least 75 people dead and hundreds wounded. As he spoke, gunfire broke out after nightfall in the capital, Bishkek.

With darkness descending, roving bands of armed marauders trawled the streets of the capital, despite warnings from the opposition leadership that looters would be shot.

Crowds gathering at the ransacked government headquarters earlier in the day angrily shouted anti-Bakiyev slogans. Still, the mood was subdued as residents came to terms with the scale of the violence unleashed against the mostly unarmed protesters by government troops a day earlier.

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