Troops force out Kyrgyz siege protesters

Kyrgyz authorities said they have regained control across the volatile south after at least two people died in violent clashes with supporters of the ousted president.

Officials and witnesses said interim government forces took back the administration headquarters in Osh and Jalalabad a day after backers of Kurmanbek Bakiyev seized the buildings in a challenge to the new government's fragile authority.

The showdown in southern Kyrgyzstan underscored the persistent turbulence in the strategically placed ex-Soviet republic which has US and Russian military air bases. On Thursday, Bakiyev supporters had seized the government headquarters in all three southern provinces, Osh, Jalalabad and Batken. Interim authorities said they regained control in remote Batken by nightfall.

Yesterday, a crowd marched to the government headquarters in Osh, the chief southern city, and took it over after scuffling with guards. No serious injuries were reported. In Jalalabad, a day-long confrontation that left two people dead and dozens wounded ended when interim government supporters took control of the administration building, officials said.

Mr Bakiyev fled after the 7-8 April uprising and is in Belarus. At least 85 died in clashes between his supporters and troops last month.

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