Deposed Kyrgyz Leader Resigns, Bolts

His departure should end fears of renewed violence
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 15, 2010 1:02 PM CDT
Deposed Kyrgyz Leader Resigns, Bolts
Kyrgyzstan's deposed president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, center, surrounded by his bodyguards,arrives for a rally in the city of Osh Thursday.   (AP Photo/D.Dalton Bennett)

The deposed president of Kyrgyzstan left the country today for neighboring Kazakhstan after signing a formal letter of resignation. The move allays fears of new violence in the Central Asian nation that hosts a key US military base supporting the war in Afghanistan. All flights there have resumed. Kazakhstan said the presidents of the US and Russia helped arrange for Kurmanbek Bakiyev to leave.

"He had to leave the country because he was afraid of people's justice," said the deputy head of the interim government. Bakiyev's efforts to gather support in Kyrgyzstan's south, his clan power base, suffered a severe blow earlier today when he tried to speak to a rally in Osh, the region's biggest city. Within a few moments of his taking the stage, gunfire split the air and he was hustled into a car and driven away. (Read more Kyrgyzstan stories.)

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