Kyrgyz opposition controls government building

No police guarding site, hundreds of jubilant residents standing outside and walking in; death toll from clashes rises to 68.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 8, 2010 06:54
Kyrgyz police block off a government building befo

KyrgyzstanDemonstrations311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Kyrgyzstan's opposition had taken over the government headquarters, the site of deadly clashes with police, and appeared to be in control of the capital Thursday.

No police were guarding the building, and hundreds of jubilant but calm residents were standing outside and walking in.


Scars of the fighting, though, were everywhere, and the Health Ministry said the death toll rose overnight to 68, with 400 people still hospitalized.

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The government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev appears to have fled.

Opposition leader Rosa Otunbayeva has declared herself head of an interim government of this Central Asian nation housing a key US air base.

She is to address parliament Thursday.


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