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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June, 2005, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Protesters clash at Kyrgyz court
Kyrgyz soldiers guard the entrance to the Supreme Court building in Bishkek, 01 June 2005.
Security forces are now back in charge
Hundreds of people forced their way into Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court on Wednesday and ejected protesters who had held it for more than a month.

The protesters had occupied the building in support of candidates who lost parliamentary elections in April, and the court has not operated since.

After an hour of clashes, unarmed police and soldiers reportedly managed to separate the two sides.

One witness said she had seen several injured taken away in ambulances.

The Supreme Court played a key role in events that forced ex-President Askar Akayev to flee the country in March.

It attempted to annul the results of parliamentary elections in February, leading rival MPs to fight for power.

Rule of law

Protesters reportedly forced their way into the building, throwing out the occupiers' blankets and other possessions.

A woman at the scene said she was demonstrating for the rule of law, rather than for either side in the dispute between legislators.

"We are not for any lawmakers but for the court. What will happen if people keep occupying government buildings?" the woman, who identified herself only as Nurjamal, told the Associated Press news agency.

"National Guard servicemen are now in control of the building," police colonel Temirkan Subanov told journalists.

The demonstration at the courthouse is reportedly the country's largest since the protests that forced Mr Akayev out.

See scenes outside the Supreme Court building


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