Ousted Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev has left neighbouring Kazakhstan, where he was flown following the toppling of his government. But his new location is a mystery, officials said on Monday.
Bakiyev was flown into Kazakhstan late Thursday in an action coordinated by world powers and aimed at quelling tensions in Kyrgyzstan, after he was toppled in protests this month that left 84 dead.
"Yes, he left," Kazakh foreign ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov said. But, he added that it was unclear where the ousted president had gone and no further details on the his departure were available.
Bakiyev is wanted by the interim Kyrgyz government in connection with the deaths in the protests that unseated him. There has been no confirmation of his location since his arrival in the southern Kazakh city of Taraz Thursday.
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, who expressed anger over Bakiyev's ousting, has offered Bakiyev sanctuary in Belarus. But officials in Minsk have, over the last days, vehemently denied that he arrived there.
Kyrgyzstan has remained tense since Bakiyev was ousted earlier this month by a popular uprising that swept an interim government to power in his place.
New unrest erupted in Kyrgyzstan on Monday as hundreds of protestors armed with sticks and stones clashed with landowners and then moved on to the capital Bishkek, local news reports said.
The group, which earlier seized land in the village of Mayevka outside the capital, demanded talks with Bishkek officials and moved towards the city centre, US-funded Azattyk Radio and the official Kabar news agency reported.
In the capital, the group forced the acting mayor of Bishkek, Isa Omurkulov, to sign a document authorizing the handover of the land they had seized earlier, Kabar said.
After surrounding the mayor and obtaining his signature, the group headed home from Bishkek by foot.
Anatoly Oleinichenko, head of the Leninsky district outside Bishkek where the rioting started, said the unrest began when several dozen people started vandalizing land with their tools in Mayevka and the crowd then grew to 300.
"This was pure pillaging, the land belongs to people and they have earned it together," he said, adding the region had a mixed population of Russians and Kyrgyz.
The interim government that replaced Bakiyev has so far struggled to impose its authority, losing control of the administration building in the ousted president's stronghold of Jalalabad and failing to arrest his former allies.