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Kyrgyz Authorities to Investigate Allegations of Coup Attempt

Kyrgyz authorities have opened a criminal case to investigate allegations that opposition leaders tried to stage a coup.

Officials announced the move Saturday, one day after Prime Minister Felix Kulov told parliament officials have a recording of a conversation that proves an opposition conspiracy. It allegedly indicates that opposition leaders and some non-governmental organizations have been plotting to seize key state institutions.

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

Meanwhile, around one thousand protesters rallied for a third day Saturday to press for President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's resignation. The opposition wants Mr. Bakiyev to curb presidential powers and give broader authority to the country's parliament.

The demonstrations began Thursday, when about 15,000 protesters gathered in the capital of Bishkek after President Bakiyev postponed the announcement of proposed constitutional reforms. Those reforms will now be presented to parliament Monday.

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 provided by Reuters and AP.