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Kyrgyz Interim Leaders Charge Bakiyev, Seek Extradition

Kyrgyzstan's interim government said Tuesday that it had charged ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev with "mass killing" and has formally prepared an extradition request.

Belarus took in Bakiyev last week after he fled in the aftermath of a bloody revolt. Moscow made it clear that he was not welcome in Russia.

"The former president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has been charged with mass killing," Azimbek Beknazarov, an interim deputy prime minister for security, said in Bishkek. The extradition request would be sent "within days," he added.

Bakiyev might also be charged with abuse of power in an official capacity, Beknazarov told reporters.

He also said the government had an arrest warrant out for Bakiyev's brother Zhanybek Bakiyev, who was also accused of mass killings. Bishkek has sent extradition requests to Kazakhstan and other countries, Beknazarov said, Interfax reported.

Former Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov and the ousted special forces chief, Murat Sutalinov, and Bakiyev's eldest son, Marat, are also wanted on the same charges, Beknazarov said.

Troops loyal to Bakiyev shot into crowds of protesters on the night of April 7. Some protesters were armed and fought back and at least 85 people were killed. Bakiyev has maintained that Moscow may have played a role in his overthrow.

But Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has made it equally clear that Bakiyev was welcome to remain in his country.

Russia's Federal Security Service detained Kyrgyzstan's former interior minister, Moldomusa Kongantiyev, and sent him home Monday. The extradition was the latest strong signal of Russian support for the new administration.

The interim government said Kongantiyev, who was badly beaten during the uprising, was under arrest and being investigated for his role in the upheaval earlier this month, among other things.

(Reuters, MT)

China will close its border with Kyrgyzstan for the May 1 holiday that begins Friday, a checkpoint employee said Tuesday.

It was unclear why China would close its borders with Kyrgyzstan, though it has stepped up security in the run-up to the Shanghai Expo, which is expected to draw millions of visitors and opens Saturday.


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