Protesters siege Kyrgyzstan capital
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Posted on Thu, Mar. 24, 2005
Kyrgyz president reportedly flees capital
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - President Askar Akayev and his family left Kyrgyzstan's capital by helicopter Thursday evening, the Interfax news agency reported, hours after protesters seized government headquarters in Bishkek and claimed control of state broadcasting facilities.
The report, which cited unspecified sources and could not immediately be confirmed, said the helicopter was headed toward Kazakhstan.
During the takeover, about 1,000 protesters cleared riot police from their positions outside the fence protecting the building, and about half entered through the front. Others smashed windows with stones, tossed papers and tore portraits of Akayev in half and stomped on them.