Interim Kyrgyz government retakes buildings after violent protests

Friday, May 14, 2010

Supporters of Kurmanbek Makiyev, shown here in 2006, took over several government buildings yesterday.

The interim government of Kyrgyzstan has regained control of several government offices after a day of violent clashes with supporters of former Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Backers of the ousted president took over regional government offices in Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken in the southern part of the country yesterday. Afterward, they released a statement calling for the reinstatement of Bakiyev's administration. The provisional government, led by Roza Otunbayeva, said later that it had managed to retake the offices in Batken after the demonstrators left the buildings there. The governor of Osh also managed to reclaim the buildings in his city with the aid of civilian government supporters.

Approximately 250 protesters were reported to have forced their way into government buildings in Osh yesterday morning, unstopped by local law enforcement officials. Up to 200 other Bakiyev supporters, most of whom were women, managed to seize administration buildings in Jalal-Abad, and were also untouched by police.

A group of 4,000 pro-government citizens approached the occupied buildings in Jalal-Abad, but was quickly dispersed when gunfire was heard. Hospitals in the city reported receiving 37 people wounded in the incident, and at least one person has died. A group loyal to Bakiyev later said that they had 25,000 supporters to march into Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz government said that they would use counter-protests, rather than police forces, to combat the demonstrators.