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Page last updated at 08:29 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 09:29 UK

Shots fired near Kyrgyzstan ex-leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev

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Shots are fired at the rally where deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was speaking

Shots have been fired at a rally in southern Kyrgyzstan where the deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was addressing supporters.

Gunfire was heard shortly after Mr Bakiyev began speaking in Osh. An opposition rally was going on nearby.

A brother of the ex-president told the BBC that his guards fired into the air after supporters of the new government tried to disrupt Mr Bakiyev's rally.

Mr Bakiyev was ousted last week after protests that left dozens dead.

He has since been living in his home region of Jalalabad in the south of the country, where he has been trying to rally support.

Trial calls

Reporters at the scene said Mr Bakiyev had been speaking to a crowd of at least 1,000 when the gunfire broke out.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan (13 April 2010)
Mr Bakiyev was said to be uninjured in the shooting

A rival rally of interim government supporters was being held a few hundred metres away.

Mr Bakiyev's brother told the BBC that the former leader had appeared on stage and was immediately attacked by opposition supporters, causing his bodyguards to shoot into the air.

The ex-president was quickly bundled into his car and driven the two hours back to his home village.

Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the capital Bishkek on 7 April after protests erupted into violence, killing more than 80 people.

Interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has said Mr Bakiyev should stand trial over the recent deadly political unrest.

The ousted president has said he is ready to negotiate and prepared to stand down if his safety can be guaranteed.



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