Five killed in fresh Kyrgyz unrest, president in Belarus


Minsk/Bishkek: The deposed Kyrgyz leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev has found refuge in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, that nation’s President, Alexander Lukashenko, said Tuesday.

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Bakiyev, 60, is in Minsk with three family members, according to Lukashenko.

“He can stay and live here, and there is work for him,” Lukashenko said during question time in parliament.

He also noted that Bakiyev still considers himself to be the president of Kyrgyzstan.

Bakiyev had fled from Kyrgyzstan to neighbouring Kazakhstan last Thursday and resigned there in an internationally brokered agreement designed to restore calm.

His supporters in southern Kyrgyzstan have demanded his reinstatement, but he faces arrest should he attempt to return. He and his family have been blamed for the more than 80 people killed and 1,600 injured during the uprising against him in April.

Fresh unrest erupted in Kyrgyzstan Monday, leaving another five people dead and 30 injured. Deputy Premier Temir Sariyev blamed Bakiyev supporters for fomenting unrest.

Rival gangs struggling for power set fire to buildings and exchanged gunfire in Mayevka, a northern suburb of the capital Bishkek, the news agency Akipress reported.

The clashes erupted late Monday and continued into the early hours of Tuesday, highlighting the fragile state of law and order since the interim government led by social democrat Roza Otunbayeva took over.

The new administration, which has been recognized by the international community, said it would crack down hard on troublemakers.