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Kyrgyz Protesters Demand Ousted President's Extradition

Protesters gathered in Bishkek's central square
Protesters gathered in Bishkek's central square
BISHKEK -- Some 2,000 protesters gathered today on Bishkek's central square demanding that ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev be put on trial, one of several demonstrations in the capital, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Bakiev, who fled the country last month, is currently in exile in Belarus. More than 80 people died and hundreds were injured in antigovernment protests on
April 7. The interim government that came to power after Bakiev left have accused him of giving an order for security services to open fire on demonstrators in Bishkek.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said he will not extradite Bakiev to Kyrgyzstan.

Interim government official Farid Niyazov told RFE/RL that the gathering was peaceful and no violence occurred. He said today that Roza Otunbaeva, the head of the interim government, is visiting the relatives of those who were killed on April 7.

A few thousand people also rallied in front of the parliament building in the capital today in support of Nariman Tuleev, who was dismissed as mayor of Bishkek by the interim government because of his ties to Bakiev.

Additionally, a counterdemonstration to the pro-Tuleev rally was led by Almazbek Atambaev, a deputy head of the interim government. A crowd of some 2,000 went with Atambaev to the parliament building, but the pro-Tuleev crowd had mostly dispersed by the time Atambaev and his followers arrived.