International

Kyrgyzstan Opposition Leader Claims 100 Are Dead From Clashes

Kyrgyz police officers throw themselves over a wall as they flee from angry protesters, in Bishkek, i

At one point today, police in Bishkek scrambled over a wall in an attempt to escape from protesters. (Ivan Sekretarev/AP) hide caption

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Kyrgyz police officers throw themselves over a wall as they flee from angry protesters, in Bishkek,

At one point today, police in Bishkek scrambled over a wall in an attempt to escape from protesters. (Ivan Sekretarev/AP)

Both the Associated Press and Reuters are now reporting that a leader of the opposition in Kyrgyzstan claims about 100 people were killed today during clashes with police in Bishkek, the Central Asian nation's capital. The government has put the death toll at 17, but has said at least 180 people were wounded.

As the AP reported earlier, demonstrators are " furious over government corruption and a recent hike in power prices." They "looted the state television and radio building and were marching toward the Interior Ministry in the capital."

From Moscow, NPR's David Greene says the protests were supposed to be peaceful — but that "the situation turned ugly" when police detained some of the opposition leaders.

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET. According to the AP, Kyrgyzstan's Health Ministry now says "40 people had died and more than 400 were wounded."

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET. Courtesy of the AP, here is some "raw video" from today's protests in Bishkek:

Russia's RT news agency has also posted video of the protests. Fair warning: It includes more violent scenes than the AP's and might be disturbing to some:

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