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79 dead in Kyrgyz violence: health ministry

A total of 79 people were killed in the riots that saw the Kyrgyz opposition take control of the Central Asian state, the health ministry said on Saturday.

world Updated: Apr 10, 2010 11:46 IST

A total of 79 people were killed in the riots that saw the Kyrgyz opposition take control of the Central Asian state, the health ministry said on Saturday.

"Three people died overnight of their injuries," interim health minister Damira Niazalieva was quoted by the Kyrgyz news agency Akipress as saying. The deaths brought the overall death toll to 79, she added.

Meanwhile, seven victims have not yet been identified in the riots that swept the ex-Soviet, Niazalieva said.

Thousands of protesters, angered over rampant corruption and steep utility rate hikes, clashed with security forces in the capital Bishkek and across the impoverished Central Asisan nation this week.

Opponents of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced late Wednesday that they had seized control of all the main institutions, including state television, and had formed a provisional government led by former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva.

Officials said Bakiyev had fled the capital aboard a small plane and had gone to the southern city of Osh.