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Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 18:19 UK

Ousted Kyrgyzstan leader Bakiyev 'leaves Kazakhstan'

Kurmanbek Bakiyev in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan (15 April 2010)
The interim government has said Mr Bakiyev must stand trial

The ousted leader of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has left Kazakhstan, officials there say.

Mr Bakiyev had fled to the neighbouring country after being overthrown in a violent uprising earlier this month.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry officials in the capital, Astana, gave no indication of where Mr Bakiyev had gone.

An interim government is now in charge in Kyrgyzstan, after more than 80 people were killed in the anti-government protests.

"As far as I know Kurmanbek Bakiyev has left the territory of Kazakhstan," ministry spokesman Askar Abdarakhmanov told a news conference in Astana.

"It is not known in which direction he is flying."

The interim Kyrgyz government, led by former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva, says Mr Bakiyev is responsible for the deaths on 7 April and should stand trial.

Arrest warrants have also been issued for several of his family members and officials, including his brother Zhanybek - the former head of the presidential guard - who is accused of giving the order for security forces to open fire on protesters.

Unrest continues

Mr Bakiyev fled the country on 15 April, after failing to secure support in his home region in the south of the country.

Earlier on Monday, around 1,000 of his supporters gathered in his home town of Jalalabad to demand an end to what they see as the persecution of him and his relatives.

A similar number of police officers also protested in the southern city of Osh, demanding better benefits and justice for security personnel killed or injured in the unrest.

There were also reports of ethnic unrest in Mayevka, a village on the outskirts of Bishkek populated mainly by Meskhetian Turks.

One person died as hundreds of rioters armed with sticks confronted the authorities in what appeared to have been an attempted land grab.

The incident raised concerns that ethnic unrest could worsen in the country.

The BBC's Central Asia correspondent Rayhan Demytrie says tensions remain high in Kyrgyzstan, as Ms Otunbayeva's government attempts to restore order and bring political stability.



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