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Defiant Kyrgyz Leader Addresses Supporters


President Kurmanbek Bakiev

President Kurmanbek Bakiev

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has made his first public appearance since he was toppled last week, accusing his opponents of seizing power "by force" and refusing to step down.

Bakiev was addressing a crowd of supporters in his home town of Teyit, in the south of Kyrgyzstan.

At least 81 people were killed on April 7 when riot police and troops opened fire on protesters against Bakiev's rule in the capital Bishkek.

Bakiev fled the city and was replaced by an interim government.

The interim government says he must resign and has threatened to arrest him.

Bakiev says any attempt to seize or kill him would result in bloodshed.

He has called on the United Nations to send a contingent of peacekeepers to restore order in the country.

compiled from agency reports
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