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April 7, 2010

Crisis in Kyrgyzstan

Widespread anti-government protests in Kyrgyzstan recently turned violent, with groups of opposition protesters attempting to storm some government buildings, and clashing with riot police. Tensions are high, as Kyrgyz authorities declared a national state of emergency, and are enforcing curfews in at least three cities. As riot police fired on opposition members and protesters fought with stones and captured weapons, estimates of casualties have varied widely, with reports ranging from 12 killed to over 100 killed. Opposition leaders appear to have taken over some of the national television channels, and President Kurmanbek Bakiyev appears to have fled the capital, Bishkek overnight. As the situation in Kyrgyzstan remains in flux, I may post more photos here later, as warranted. (Entry updated 04/08, now 49 photos total)

Riot police are attacked by anti-government protesters in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov)

Opposition supporters burn a billboard displaying Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev during a rally in the northwestern town of Talas on April 6, 2010. Kyrgyz protesters demonstrating against President Kurmanbek Bakiyev stormed a government office in the northwestern town of Talas on Tuesday and there were conflicting reports on the fate of the regional governor. (REUTERS/azattyk.org) #

A Kyrgyz opposition member throws a projectile at riot police during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Kyrgyz riot police block a road during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Kyrgyz police fire tear gas toward protesters near the main government buildings in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday, April 7, 2010. Police in Kyrgyzstan opened fire on thousands of angry protesters who tried to seize the main government building amid rioting in the capital as protests spread across the Central Asian nation. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

A Kyrgyz opposition supporter fires an automatic weapon near the main government building during a protest against the government in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Kyrgyz policemen try to stop opposition supporters during a protest against the government in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

An ambulance packed with injured people prepares to leave the main government building in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, April 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

Opposition supporters protest against the government in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

An unidentified man fires an automatic weapon near the main government building in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, April 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Azamat Imanaliyev) #

A Kyrgyz riot police vehicle burns near the Government building in the capital Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Kyrgyz riot policemen come under a hail of stones thrown by anti-government protesters in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Kyrgyz riot police try to protect themselves as they fall back from stone-throwers in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Kyrgyz opposition supporters give chase as riot policemen, some wounded, run for cover in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Protesters try to take a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) from a riot policeman during clashes in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

A woman raises her arms in the street during clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

A riot policeman fires teargas toward demonstrators in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday, April 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

A Kyrgyz opposition supporter waves the national flag near the main government building during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A victim of clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters lies on a bloody sidewalk in Bishkek April 7, 2010. The condition of the victim is unknown. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

Kyrgyz opposition supporters carry a man injured near the main government building during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A car is set on fire in the street during clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters near the presidential administration in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vlasimir Pirogov) #

Kyrgyz opposition supporters vie for a gun during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A protester runs towards riot police during clashes in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

Kyrgyz police officers throw themselves over a wall as they flee from angry protesters, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday, April 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

A Kyrgyz protester kicks one of two captured police officers at the opposition headquarters in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, April 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

Bloodied Kyrgyz police officers huddle together for protection, as they are attacked by protestors in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, April 7, 2010, following clashes with police. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

A police vehicle burns during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Victims of clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters lie on the ground among stones and blood, near the presidential administration in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

Kyrgyz opposition supporters clash with police during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Kyrgyz opposition supporter checks the body of a dead man on the street, killed during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Kyrgyz opposition supporter runs with the national flag during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Police flee from Kyrgyz opposition supporters during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A protester carries a police RPG and riot shield during clashes with riot police in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

Two men lay dead during clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters near the presidential administration in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

People carry a victim of clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

Protesters grab and drag a policeman during clashes with riot police in Bishkek April 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

A plainclothes policeman kicks an anti-government protester in Bishkek April 7, 2010. Kyrgyz forces fired on thousands of protesters in central Bishkek on Wednesday after some of the protesters tried to smash two trucks through the perimeter fence of the government building, said a Reuters reporter at the scene. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogo) #

Kyrgyz opposition supporters attack a Kyrgyz riot police vehicle during an anti government protest in Bishkek on April 7, 2010. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #


Updated 04/08, 10:00 am Eastern Time

Workers clear up glass and debris behind shop windows broken by looters in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, April 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Nina Gorshkova) #

A boy rides a bicycle in front of a burning shopping centre in the center of Bishkek April 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

A doctor stands next to Umar, 30, no second name given, in a hospital in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, April 8, 2010. Umar, among others, was wounded in clashes with police. The Kyrgyz Health Ministry said at least 74 people were killed and 400 people hospitalized in clashes nationwide Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

People pass by a burnt police building in Bishkek April 8, 2010. Kyrgyzstan's opposition said on Thursday it had taken power and dissolved parliament in the poor but strategically important Central Asian state after deadly protests forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

Protesters break through an entrance of Kyrgyz government headquarters on the central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, April 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

Protesters pose in Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's cabinet room inside Kyrgyz government headquarters on central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, April 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) #

People stand in the vandalized parliament hall in Bishkek April 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

Kyrgyz interim leader Roza Otunbayeva gives a news conference in Bishkek on April 8, 2010. The new rulers of Kyrgyzstan told toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to quit and announced the disbanding of parliament on April 8 as they shored up diplomatic support after a bloody people's uprising. Former Foreign Minister Otunbayeva, who has been declared interim leader, said Bakiyev had fled the capital and was trying to rally support in a southern stronghold after a revolt against his rule which left at least 74 people dead. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Kyrgyz protesters listen to opposition lawmaker Isa Omurkulov, unseen, as they gather in front of Kyrgyz government headquarters on the central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, April 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

Kyrgyz people react looking through a fence of the Kyrgyz government headquarters on the central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, April 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #

Young people link arms in front of a government building to prevent it from being looted, in Bishkek April 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) #

 
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