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Kyrgyzstan Sets Elections for October

Kyrgyzstan's interim government has set a date for the country's parliamentary and presidential elections.

The deputy prime minister of the interim government Omurbek Tekebayev said Thursday the country would hold the vote on October 10. He also said the country would hold a referendum on a new constitution on June 27.

The interim government took control of Kyrgyzstan on April 7, after clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in the capital, Bishkek, killed 84 people.

Kyrgyzstan's ousted leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev says he is still the rightful president of his country. He is in Belarus, where he took refuge earlier this week.

Kyrgyzstan's interim leader dismissed his statement Wednesday, saying Mr. Bakiyev signed a letter of resignation before he left the country.

Roza Otunbayeva said the remarks were the "bravado of a man agonizing over his own helplessness."

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Kyrgyzstan's new leadership has assured the U.S. that it can continue to have access to the Manas airbase, a key support facility for NATO operations in Afghanistan.

Clinton commented Thursday on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Estonia, saying she saw no problem with continued use of the base.

Clinton also said she had discussed the issue with Russia, which also maintains a military base in Kyrgyzstan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.