Authorities had to introduce a state of emergency and send military forces as a new wave of riots erupted in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh, the interim government said on Friday.
Southern regions of Kyrgyzstan are considered a traditional stronghold of former president Kurmanbek Bakieyv, who took refuge there after being deposed in violent opposition riots in the capital Bishkek in April. He later fled to Belarus.
"Now the interim government continues its emergency session in connection with riots in Osh. It was resolved to introduce a state of emergency there," said Farid Niyazov, a spokesman for the interim government.
In mid-May, supporters of the deposed president staged large-scale protests in Osh and another southern city Jalal-Abad. They seized provincial administration buildings but the protests were suppressed by police and military forces. About 50 protestors were reported to be injured during the unrest.
The acting defense minister of the interim government and special envoy on southern regions, Ismail Isakov, set off to the south.
An eyewitness told that sporadic clashes between groups of youth occur in Kyrgyzstan's second largest city, and "shots are heard."
"Young people break windows in shops and houses. Some buildings are on fire. At the moment, military vehicles enter the city. Sounds of stun grenades, which the police use to disperse the protestors, are heard," he told RIA Novosti by phone.
The country's acting president, Roza Otunbayeva, imposed a curfew from 20:00 to 6:00 in Osh and neighboring regions.
MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti)