Kyrgyzstan: Coup in a U.S.-Allied Country?

Key Ally in Afghanistan War May Have Been Overthrown by Opposition Protestors

Jim Sciutto, Luis Martinez, Michael Murray
ABC News
4/7/2010

Protests in Kyrgyzstan today were massive and frenzied. By the end of day, some reports said they had brought down the government of a crucially important U.S. ally.

The United States maintains an air base in Kyrgyzstan that is a key supply point for the war in nearby Afghanistan. President Obama’s support for the now-ousted government long has angered the opposition.

This morning, when thousands of opposition protestors attacked the president of Kyrgyzstan’s office, police used live ammunition to repel them. Hospitals filled quickly with the dead and wounded.

“Security forces were shooting with submachine guns,” said one wounded protester being carried away in a stretcher. “Why are they shooting at the people?” …

…The United States has a “transit center” located at Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan, about 19 miles northwest of the capital of Bishkek. It is a major hub for the transit of personnel and equipment into Afghanistan. There are about 1,100 U.S., French and Spanish personnel located at the facility, with the overwhelming majority of them being American…

The entire article is at ABC News

From CNN, “Protests Topple Kyrgyzstan’s President, Opposition Claims.” Reports are that President Kurmanbek Bakiev of Kyrgyzstan may have fled the country.

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