Opposition seizes power in Kyrgyzstan
Top news: After a day of bloody protests that left at least 68 people dead, opposition leaders have seized power in Kyrgyzstan. New interim leader Roza Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, says parliament has been dissolved and an interim government will rule the country for six months. The location of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
"You can call this revolution. You can call this a people's revolt. Either way, it is our way of saying that we want justice and democracy," Otunbayeva told reporters. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had spoken with her by phone and saw her as the "new head of government."
This week's unrest began with protests in a regional town over the increase in utility prices but quickly led to the capital city of Bishkek where looting was widespread and government buildings were burned.
Otunbayeva said that Bakiyev is believed to have fled to Southern Kyrgyzstan, his traditional base of support. He has not responded to an offer to negotiate his resignation.
The unrest in Kyrgyzstan has temporarily suspended flights through Manas, a strategically important airbase used by the United States and allies to supply troops in Afghanistan. Asked about the base, Otunbayeva said the flights will be allowed to continue for now, but cautioned, “We still have some questions on it. Give us time and we will listen to all the sides and solve everything.”
New START: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a major new arms reduction treaty in Prague today. Obama called it "first step on a longer journey" toward nuclear disarmament.
-By Joshua Keating
VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images
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