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Pro-Akaev Protesters Demonstrate

27 March 2005 -- Reports say that protesters supporting ousted President Askar Akaev have blocked a main road linking his hometown with the Kyrgyz capital today.

The AP news agency reports that some 700 people, meeting in Kemin, Akaev's hometown 80 kilometers east of Bishkek, said they would not accept the new authorities.

RFE/RL reports that the situation is calm. There are no reports of violence. About 150 people blocked the main road.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin says Akaev has asked permission to come to Russia and that his request has been accepted.

Kyrgyz interim leader, Kurmanbek Bakiev, says he would not ask for Akaev's extradition if he happened to be in a foreign country.

"This is not how I envisage things, neither how parliament envisages them. If Mr. Akaev decides to come here -- or rather come back -- he has the right to do so. Kyrgyzstan is his homeland. He has absolutely the right to live here. It is his prerogative," Bakiev said.

Feliks Kulov, another opposition leader, has said that Akaev must return to Bishkek and officially tell the nation that he is stepping down.