Reports: Kyrgyz Leader Has Fled; Opposition May Be In Control : The Two-Way Large-scale protests appear to have overthrown the government of Kyrgyzstan, an important American ally in Central Asia, The New York Times reports.
NPR logo Reports: Kyrgyz Leader Has Fled; Opposition May Be In Control

Reports: Kyrgyz Leader Has Fled; Opposition May Be In Control

"Large-scale protests appear to have overthrown the government of Kyrgyzstan, an important American ally in Central Asia," The New York Times is reporting.

Russia's RT news agency writes that Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev "has fled" the capital, Bishkek.

Reuters reports that "the Kyrgyz government agreed on Wednesday to resign and President Kurmanbek Bakiyev flew to the southern city of Osh," according to a senior opposition party official.

The Associated Press says one of its reporters has observed supporters of the opposition in
control of one branch of the security forces' headquarters in Bishkek.

As we reported earlier, demonstrators were protesting government corruption and increases in power prices today when things turned violent after police tried to disperse them. Opposition leaders claim as many as 100 people died in clashes with authorities. The government has put the death toll as high as 40.

NPR's David Greene noted earlier today that the former Soviet Republic is "strategically important to Russia and the U.S. Each nation has a military base in the country. The U.S. uses its to support the war effort in Afghanistan," which is to the south (with Tajikistan in between).