News24

Kyrgyz opposition controls army

2010-04-08 14:03

Bishkek- Kyrgyzstan's opposition has taken control of the country's armed forces after a bloody revolt which toppled the previous government, the interim defence minister said on Thursday.

General Ismail Isakov, who was named in the temporary post by interim leader Roza Otunbayeva earlier on Thursday, said he had spoken with key military leaders, who pledged their allegiance to the new government.

"The army has moved entirely to our side. I have been in touch with all of the commanders and they are responding to my orders. There are no problems here at all," he said.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday in a wave of violent protests which ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who the opposition accused of fostering rampant corruption.

Bakiyev is reported to have fled to the south of the mountainous country, where he maintains his power base and hopes to muster support in a bid to retake power, sparking fears of a possible civil conflict.

A total of 75 people were killed and around 1 000 injured in Wednesday's riots, according to the latest toll from the health ministry.