Kyrgyzstan was thrown into turmoil Wednesday after clashes between protesters and police killed at least 17 people, according to The New York Times, and caused Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital of Bishkek. –KA

Update from BBC:

The opposition in Kyrgyzstan says it is setting up a “people’s government” after deadly clashes left dozens dead.

The opposition said Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov had agreed to resign but President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has yet to do so.

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The New York Times:

Earlier in the day, the police used bullets, tear gas and stun grenades against a crowd of thousands massing in front of the presidential office in Bishkek, according to witness accounts. At least 17 people were killed and others were wounded, officials said.

Opposition leaders said the toll was as high as 100 people, but that figure could not be confirmed.

The upheaval raised questions about the future of an important American air base that operates in Kyrgyzstan in support of the NATO mission in nearby Afghanistan. American officials said that as of Wednesday evening the base was functioning normally.

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