OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Leaflets and compact discs are being circulated in southern Kyrgyzstan calling on citizens to create a "South
Kyrgyzstan Democratic Republic" with ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev as its leader, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
The materials, distributed in and around the city of Osh, praise Bakiev -- who is currently in exile in Belarus -- and demand his immediate return to Kyrgyzstan. Bakiev is from the southern city of Jalal-Abad.
The leaflets and CDs claim that the 86 people killed in violent clashes between opposition supporters and Kyrgyz security forces earlier this month died because of provocative protest actions organized by opposition politicians, not because of an order from Bakiev or someone in his government to open fire on antigovernment protesters.
Witnesses said they have seen hundreds of the CDs being distributed in Osh and the towns of Kara-Suu and Alay, RFE/RL reports. Osh resident Tologon Keldibekov told RFE/RL that the leaflets and CDs are being left at the doorsteps of private homes and apartments and in local marketplaces.
Keneshbek Duishebaev, the acting chairman of Kyrgyzstan's National Security Service, told RFE/RL that the leaflets and CDs are being distributed by pro-Bakiev groups. He added that an investigation has been launched.
Bakiev, who resigned as president before fleeing the country two weeks ago, claims that he does not recognize his resignation and is still the legitimate president of Kyrgyzstan.
The interim government officially charged him with "mass murder" and has started the process of seeking his extradition.