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Kyrgyz Opposition Rallies as Prime Minister Alleges Coup


Thousands of protesters in Kyrgyzstan rallied for a second day Friday to press for President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's resignation, as his government accused the opposition of plotting a coup.

At least 2,000 protesters gathered in Bishkek Friday, as 500 more marched to state television headquarters. The opposition wants Mr. Bakiyev to curb presidential powers and give broader authority to the country's parliament.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Felix Kulov told parliament that officials have a recording of a conversation that proves an opposition conspiracy. It allegedly shows that opposition leaders and some non-governmental organizations have been plotting to seize key state institutions. Among them, he said, were the state television station, the presidential building and the state security headquarters.

The opposition rejected the allegations, calling them a "provocation."

The president was elected in 2005 after anti-government riots ousted his long-time predecessor, Askar Akayev. But Mr. Bakiyev's term has also been marred by security and economic problems.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.