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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 23:28 GMT 00:28 UK
Kyrgyz riot police clear protest
Riot police clear area in front of President Kurmanbek Bakiev's office
The anti-government protests had lasted more than a week
Police in Kyrgyzstan have used tear gas and baton charges to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in the centre of the capital Bishkek.

Hundreds of riot police took an hour to clear the square in front of President Kurmanbek Bakiev's office.

The police removed a tent camp that had been set up during a week of protests calling for Mr Bakiev to resign.

The opposition has accused Mr Bakiev of failing to tackle corruption and crime and of sabotaging democratic reform.

Prime Minister Almaz Atambayev said some shop windows had been smashed and there had been some looting.

He said three demonstrators and two policemen had been taken to hospital.

One hundred demonstrators were arrested.

Opposition leader Felix Kulov, a former prime minister, said the authorities had provoked the disorder to create a pretext for taking action against the protesters.

Mr Bakiev was elected president in 2005 after street protests forced his predecessor Askar Akayev from power.

Prime Minister Azim Isabekov resigned last month amid growing political turmoil.

In a concession to the opposition, Mr Bakiev appointed the moderate opposition leader, Almaz Atambayev, in his place.

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21 Mar 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Kyrgyzstan
29 Oct 06 |  Country profiles


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